The price of green policies

Yesterday I heard a short discussion on the media about the rising cost of renewables on the typical electricity bill. Some think it unfair that  low income consumers have to pay the renewable surcharge alongside better off consumers. Others think it right as we are all users of power, and the cost has risen thanks to the renewable surcharge. Those who want to take the surcharge off lower income consumers either want the whole charge put onto general taxation as a subsidy to the power industry, or want means testing of the bills with reductions for low incomes.

This raises the bigger question of how much are people prepared to pay to go green. In Chile there were riots over higher charges that led to the last global climate change conference having to move to a different country to avoid the protests. In France the gilets jaune movement started as a protest over high fuel taxes imposed for green policy reasons. In the UK it was popular politics to suspend or cancel  planned fuel tax increases.

As governments consider new tough targets for the next fifteen years they start to have more reality. They do mean according to their advocates the end of all diesel and petrol cars, the wholesale replacement of all conventional heating systems in people’s homes, the complete electrification of the railways and the total greening of the electricity generation system within a few years. Given the increasing reliance on electrical power it will also require a substantial increase in generating capacity.

I would be interested to hear views on how much of these  big investment and spending programmes should be paid for by the users and consumers, and how much from  higher taxes on those same consumers. The polling points to a tension between the numbers who think we should do all these things, and  the numbers who think they should help pay for it. This also has a bearing on the pace of change people want.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    You say:- “I would be interested to hear views on how much of these big investment and spending programmes should be paid for by the users and consumers, and how much from higher taxes on those same consumers.” This begs the question of should we be paying for this lunacy at all, exporting industries and jobs with little or no benefit even to world CO2 output.

    Looked at properly all considered these policies are generally not actually green at all. We should not be doing most of them many are negative in impact. When these technologies work and are cost effective people with buy them. Discouraging real pollution is one think. CO2 is not pollution it is tree and plant food probably on balance a net positive. Most of the renewable electric car agenda does not even save any significant CO2 anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

      Is Boris really going to elevate the two Benn Act traitors Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke to the Lords? They were dire tax borrow and piss down the drain, pro EU, Chancellors too.

      What a truly appalling thing to do.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        Or even to contemplate!

        • Shirley
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink


        • Alan Jutson
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink


          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


      • APL
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “What a truly appalling thing to do.”

        Yes, just as we had hope that the Augean stables that are the House of Frauds would be cleaned out.

        There only needs to be about 200 sitting in the Lords. The 92 Hereditaries and the rest, appointed. But 200 is the absolute maximum.

        Perhaps the 108 might serve as a sort of ‘buggins turn’ any new elevations, and the same number fall off the other end of the perch.

      • JoolsB
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        They’l be in good company then Lifelogic with all the other EU loving has beens and cronies. What I find even more appalling is that Boris is obviously happy with the status quo with clearly no plans to either abolish or at least reform this overcrowded and unelected retirement home for failures on their £315 a day tax free allowance just for signing in.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        This decision (scrapping of all known transportation and heating in 15 years) on a par with voting for the May Treaty; Huawei; more overfunding for NHS; and expected HS2 decision. When The People have Boris cornered like a rat (Brexit; Islamic terror) he does OK. else a disaster.
        I’m afraid he’s really simply not rational.

      • Bob
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        I agree, this send entirely the wrong message.
        These two did their best to subvert the referendum result, and Hammond was a key player in Project Fear using his position to keep Mr Carnage in place to pedal pro EU propaganda. Why reward such behaviour?

        If anyone deserves a peerage it’s Nigel Farage for his unstinting dedication to restoring self rule to the UK at great cost to his own personal life.

        • Bob
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          * peddle

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Hear hear.

      • Brigham
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Take away their attendance allowance. This should get rid of most of them.

      • jerry
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        @LL; Why not put them in the Lords, were they are likely to be less dangerous, at least in the Lords what they say on that stage can be challenged (instantly in some instances), the same is not true outside of the Parliament – witness the audiences Tony Benn used to attract when it became known he was to speak at a protest rally.

        I can’t see either, should they accept, sitting as cross-benchers, never mind on the opposition benches…

    • NickC
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Ed Davey claimed that political edicts would force electric vehicle manufacturers to reduce prices to the same level as petrol cars. That’s essentially a communist outlook. Even if existing EVs were mass produced their costs would never match petrol cars because they are some 40% heavier, and extra materials have to be paid for.

      And of course EVs cannot work without the fuel (electrical energy) to power them. There is no indication that Boris is even aware of that, still less is he putting in place the generation plant and infrastructure required. Bonkers.

      The cost of the Boris EV debacle will make the money wasted on the EU look trivial.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        I do not think I have ever heard Ed Davey say anything sensible. He clearly has zero understanding of science, engineering, economics, logic or indeed anything much.

        PPE Oxon and a Libdim – what chance has he got?

      • bill brown
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 3:00 am | Permalink

        Nick C

        What money, which figures and for what?

        • NickC
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, What are you talking about? Money for what – EVs, or power stations, or doubling grid capacity, or re-cabling the streets, or closing most refineries, or scrapping ports, or scrapping oil rigs and tankers, or re-cycling millions of traction batteries, or recovery of EVs with no electricity left, or what???

          Be specific and I’ll produce my best estimate. I’ve already stated the power stations are likely to be at least £500bn. The whole lot cannot be less than £3trn in my opinion. If you want to argue come up with your own counter facts.

    • Leaver
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink


      it is not simply a question of CO2 (which isn’t actually harmless. A 1% level causes severe headaches. A 10% level is fatal – albeit a long way from the current 0.04% atmospheric levels).

      There are many other polluting gases. Particularly methane from cows, which is a major pollutant.

      Doing nothing is simply leaving the bill for later generations to pay and fiscally irresponsible. I stand side by side with Sir John on this. Better that we deal with the problem now – but without bankrupting ourselves in the process.

      And if you don’t believe climate change is manmade, I’m not sure there’s anything I can say – as you doubtless believe all the so-called experts are wrong, that all the ‘evidence’ is lies, and this is all some Marxist conspiracy. How I love this post-truth world.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        But how much is man made?
        Or less?

        • Leaver
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          The majority of greenhouse gases are caused by geothermal activity – as I am sure you know.

          As both geothermal activity and manmade pollution vary, it is not easy to put a precise percentage on this.

          I feel both this and the point about submarines below are drifting from the central point that mankind is heating up the planet year on year, and nobody knows the consequences beyond the fact that if we do nothing, we risk a lot of natural disasters, massive bills, or a natural feedback loop (where so much water is evaporated that clouds cover the earth almost entirely) causing rapid cooling – a.k.a a nuclear winter. None of these scenarios fill me with joy.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            You say ” mankind is heating up the planet” yet there is no scientific data to say to what degree mankind is driving the warming.
            20% 40% 60%?
            Yet we are proposing to spend hundreds of billions without a real understanding of what is happening and what is causing the change.
            1.3 degree rise since 1850 measured as a global average.
            And very little rise since 2000.

        • NickC
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          Edward2, It’s controversial, because the complexity of CO2 release and absorption by the sinks and sources means the “natural” balance is not fully understood. The three isotopes of carbon (C-14, C-13, C-12) allow some tracking – “fossil” fuels have no C-14.

          However you can put an upper limit on “man made” CO2 – about a quarter of the total CO2 – since the pre-industrial level was c300ppm, and currently it’s c410ppm. It is probably less, depending on the balancing which varies over a year anyway. About half of “man made” CO2 gets absorbed.

          Geothermal activity adds about one sixtieth on average of the CO2 added by man, so is relatively trivial.

      • Martin R
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        There is no possible prospect of atmospheric CO2 level being increased to 1%. Do you realise that would represent twenty five times more CO2 in the atmosphere than at present? It is almost inconceivable that mankind could ever even double atmospheric CO2, mankind currently contributes only about 3% net of annual flows of carbon in the carbon cycle even at the moment and that will peak and then eventually begin to tail off as fossil fuels become progressively more expensive. By the way navies run the air in nuclear submarines at up to 1% CO2 concentration, with about ten times atmospheric CO2 being the average level during a voyage. No ill effects from crews breathing that level of CO2 for months have been reported to my knowledge. Do the research, these figures have been reported to Congress.

        • Leaver
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          I’m not saying atmospheric gases will increase to 1% carbon dioxide. Rather rebutting the claim that it is a harmless gas. I think the headache figure is actually around 3%, so thanks for allowing me to make the correction. But the broader point still holds. CO2 isn’t harmless. Nor is it the only gas we need to be concerned about.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            You need to measure in parts per million in the atmosphere.
            Percentages are rather meaningless.

          • dixie
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            Using your premis Oxygen is not a harmless gas and water is not a harmless solvent.

        • L Jones
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Thank you, Mr Martin R – most interesting.

        • Leaver
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          Actually I was right. Looked up the figures just now. For Carbon dioxide, the reported effects are as follows:

          1% Drowsiness from prolonged exposure
          2% Headache, laboured breathing, increases in blood pressure and reduced hearing
          5% Headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, confusion, respiratory distress and panic attacks
          8% loss of consciousness after 5-10mins, dimmed sight
          10% Difficulty breathing, vomiting, hypertension. 2-3 minutes can lead to unconsciousness and be fatal
          20% Exposure can cause convulsions and coma within 1 minute followed by death

          Again I’m just pointing out it is not harmless – not that atmospheric levels will reach 1%.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

            You make an error in measuring CO2 in percentages.
            It is parts per million.
            CO2 will never get to 20%

          • Martin R
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            Oh dear. What is the point in this discussion of castigating CO2 as potentially harmful when there is absolutely no possibility of CO2 in the air ever even approaching a tenth of the concentration (1%) you refer to? And that is apart from the fact nuclear submariners already operate at that level in the real world anyway, as I have pointed out.

      • NickC
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Leaver, Then you need to examine your own post-truth views. Where do you get the information that “all the so-called experts” agree with you that there is an imminent climate catastrophe? Most, but not all, climate scientists think some of the recent warming is likely to be man made. But CAGW is not proven at all. That’s a long way from your beliefs.

        • Leaver
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          I never said there was an imminent environmental catastrophe. Quite the opposite. Please do not put words in my mouth.

          I do think that we need to deal with the problem now, before it becomes more serious. And, yes, almost all climatologists agree that global warming is manmade and needs to be dealt with. As you point out, there is considerable disagreement about how urgent the threat is, as it is notoriously hard to predict. I’m not with Extinction Rebellion, but nor with the U.S ‘head in the sand’ Republicans either. Somewhere in between.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

            How much is man made?
            Are you claiming 100%?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          97% of scientists think that the climate changes and that mankind has some effect. As indeed do I!

          The question is – is there a climate catastrophe round the corner and if so can it be prevented by cutting mankind’s CO2 production. The answer to that is no, and even if there were then cutting manmade CO2 output slightly would make little difference anyway.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Well we know for certain that the climate changed before mankind arrived and before any significant CO2 increase so climate change is very clearly not just “man made”. But clearly mankind has some effect on climate as does millions of other things. Many of these natural thing are clearly not even predictable like volcanic activity, genetic evolution in plants, meteor impacts …..

        • Leaver
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          We also know that the world has heated up by around one degree centigrade since 1850. Also that this rise correlates very closely with CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Also that this rise is due to manmade pollutants.

          But you are quite right. If there was a large meteor strike, a supervolcano explosion, or a change in plant life across the planet this would alter CO2 levels massively. However I’m not quite sure what this has to do with the increase in CO2 levels since the industrial revolution.

          • APL
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            Leaver: “Rather rebutting the claim that it is a harmless gas. ”

            No you have not.

            Nitrogen is a harmless gas, but if you increased its percentage in the atmosphere from 80% to 100% we’d all asphyxiate.

            Oxygen on the other hand, will kill you if the composition of air you breath was increased to 100%, but we depend on it to stay alive!

            So, the broader point is, no gas in excessive concentrations – greater concentrations we as organisms have evolved to tolerate – is healthy.

            Leaver: “We also know that the world has heated up by around one degree centigrade since 1850. ”

            Nothing to do with AGW, we have recently ( in geological terms ~ 10,000 years ago ) emerged from an ice age, the whole of the Northern hemisphere was covered in ice up to a mile thick. Parts of Scandinavia are still rising as a result of the ice melting.

            It has been much, much colder, the delta since the end of the last ice age is much much greater, than 1 degree in two hundred years.

            Nor do we really have any idea what ‘normal’ is!

          • NickC
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            Leaver, No the correlation is not close. “Man made” CO2 has increased steadily year by year, but the global temperature has varied, even though the trend is increasing. There is therefore some natural variation(s) from year to year which prevents correlation – one example being ENSO, of course.

          • Martin R
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:12 am | Permalink

            Sorry climate does not remotely correlate with CO2 concentration. CO2 did not rise to any marked degree until the nineteen-forties/fifties. The Little Ice Age (LIA) was on the wane a century before that. From the nineteen-fifties to the eighties temperatures declined (while CO2 was increasing). That resulted in scientists worrying about the onset of a new ice age (remember?) and that was the start of climate paranoia which morphed into the great global warming fright when temperatures became slightly warmer for two decades. Global temperature goes in cycles with CO2 following rather than preceding temperature as CO2 is released from the seas with decreasing silubility with a delay of hundreds of years when the climate warms. And vice versa. Before the LIA there was the Medieval Warm Period which was preceded by cooling in the “Dark Ages”. Before that a period of warming in Roman Times when grapes were cultivated in England and so on. Why do you think Roman soldiers walked around in kilts when the Romans were perfectly capable of making trousers? Not one of these cycles correlated with changes in atmospheric CO2, let alone people driving around in Chelsea tractors. Perhaps you are not aware of the Holocene Optimum 9,000 years ago when it was warmer than today for centuries. On average global temperature has declined since then.

          • Leaver
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

            I am very aware of the Holocene Optimium. Indeed that it was 7 degrees centigrade hotter than today (on average). Also that this sort of temperature rise will lead to huge amounts of water being evaporated, the earth being covered in cloud (which reflects sunlight) and the equivalent of a nuclear winter.

            Also, it’s not just CO2 that leads to average global temperature rises, but also methane and many other pollutants.

            There is a ton of evidence showing the effect of greenhouse gases on average global temperatures. If you don’t choose to look at it that is your own business. I would start by looking at ‘global warming’ on Wikipedia. The evidence is overwhelming – as well as being intuitively obvious.

            Again, if anyone can show me a graph with any variable (other than greenhouse gases) correlating with the average rise in global temperatures since 1850, I am all ears.

          • APL
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            Leaver: “Also that this sort of temperature rise will lead to huge amounts of water being evaporated, the earth being covered in cloud (which reflects sunlight) and the equivalent of a nuclear winter.”

            You’ve contradicted yourself in one sentence!

            You can’t have a ‘nuclear’ winter if the mean atmospheric temperatures are 8 degrees warmer.

            The point is, the Earths atmosphere is a stable system and very robust, it has varied significantly over the millennia, before Humans industrialised in the latest five two hundred years.

            The feedbacks in the system are not positive, they are negative. Extra cloud because of more H2O evaporation, will reduce the temperature of the atmosphere, the cloud will return to water – snow or rain, and the atmosphere will cool. As more solar radiation hits the surface it will warm.

            Nothing has yet happened ( baring a shoemaker – Levy event ) to disturb the natural cycles. But Homo Sapiens are not in control.

          • Leaver
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

            Strangely I think we are weirdly in agreement, despite the nit-picking. We all seem to agree that human activity is leading to a warming of the planet.

            The main difference appears to be the confidence in predicting the future. While many of you pronounce the heating of the planet will have no great impact on humanity, I am not so certain and therefore feel we are playing russian roulette here. However, I admire your confidence, even if I don’t share it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Well you can easily drown in water or explode things in 100% in oxygen but they are both fairly harmless a normal concentrations. Slightly higher C02 levels (of tree and plant food) are probably, on balance, a net positive.

        • Leaver
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          I agree with that entirely – though it depends by what you mean by slightly higher concentrations of CO2. What level of CO2 in ppm would you consider an alarming level?

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      To say that plant food is probably on balance a net positive is perhaps the biggest understatement of the year. The improvement in productivity for every category of food crop with increased CO2 level has long been determined experimentally. In fact in practice horticulturalists spend good money to increase CO2 in greenhouses to augment crop yields, with about three times atmospheric CO2 being the usual aim I believe (1,200 ppm). It is inescapable that crop yields worldwide must have similarly increased in line with established experimental data since the nineteen-fifties when CO2 levels have gone up about 30%. Although to my knowledge no government economists have done the simple sums needed to arrive at an approximate estimate of the value of the resulting increase in global agricultural production it must surely be measured in £ trillions p.a. The consequence of that must also be that millions of the poorest in the third world have been fed and survived as a result of that economic benefit. I wonder why these relatively simple sums have not been done? But on the debit side there is absolutely no evidence at all from climate data that CO2 has ever had any effect on real world weather unless you cherry pick the period to give the desired answer. To whit, the current recent, very slight warming, about 1 degree C since the LIA, began more than a century before any increase in CO2 could be attributed to mankind, so there is no correlation there. Climate goes in cycles, and the evidence is that CO2 follows global temperature with a lag of hundreds of years rather than driving it. But that has been said many many times already, and it still falls on deaf ears. The evidence already is that it will continue to fall on deaf ears until this country’s economy lies in ruins.

      • cornishstu
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        I think it is time we had more direct democracy as it is obvious that majority of people elected do not have a clue and need constant direction as to what we their employers want from them.

      • Richard
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        +1 Good post.
        The EUR 7,600 Billion estimate for zero-CO2 Germany probably serves as a useful pro rata indication for the UK.
        Also a Reaction article crunched some numbers for a UK estimate:

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Even an MP should know the answer to this; we simply don’t trust the government! When a government tells us ‘this or that special additional tax is for a good cause that we should all support..’ we don’t believe you. Look at the fuel tax, road fund licence, VAT on cars and fuel, does that all go to improve our road system? Fool me once…
    Electricity production can be solved with current (sorry about that..) technology. What’s needed is STORAGE. Put the research grants/expenditure into finding low cost storage, for say capacity needed for 1,000 houses, and ‘pump’ those up from regional sources.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      The only form of large scale electricity storage that is even remotely affordable is pumped storage (as per Dinorwic). Even that is extremely expensive to build and we do not in this low lying country have suitable geography for it.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink


      Long-Bailey for new Labour leader

      Richard Burgon for Deputy Labour Leader


      • Mitchel
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        If Labour elects continuity Corbyn,the Establishment will have to think more carefully about how it betrays you;you might not hold your nose and vote for the betrayers -yet again-next time

      • Bob
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        @Peter Wood

        Dream Team!

    • Mark
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Storage needs to be extremely low cost to be viable for anything other than very short term applications. The return on storage investment requires a margin over round trip losses multiplied by the frequency with which the capacity is used. Daily storage with the cheapest technology makes a modest return at Dinorwig, which can store 9GWh, or less than 1% of daily demand on a coldish day. Interseasonal storage only gets used annually, so it needs 365 times the margin to be viable at equivalent capital cost, and it will almost certainly suffer higher round trip losses.

      Every time I look at the economics it is clear that it is cheaper to over build capacity and curtail excess production rather than store it. It is of course cheaper still to build reliable, dispatchable capacity in the first place.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Exactly but politicians usually cannot do such simple sums or do not care to!

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Last night’s panel on Any Questions were dire, this even by BBC political programme standards. Particularly on the green issue and the BBC licence, propaganda tax. Is Boris really a convert to this hugely damaging, job destroying, green lunacy, or has he just decided that it is good politically to pretend to be? Let us hope it is the latter. Trump, on this issue is right. Also I am sure there are more votes and jobs and economic growth in cheap reliable energy, practical cars and warm homes by far. A bit of hot air virtue signally and pretence is perhaps OK, but please cull all green crap subsidies and market manipulations please or just keep deferring this scientific lunacy.

    Follow the real physics not the deluded St Greta, Prince Charles (quack medicine and religious enthusiast) line of blatant hypocrisy and stupidity.

    At least the government had the sense to sack the dire, wrong on everything, LibDim Claire Perry I suppose.

    Lord Debden was appalling wrong headed, ill informed and irrational on everything as usual. Needless to say he wanted people to be criminalised and jailed should they refuse to pay the tax for the BBC indoctrination “service”. One slightly encouraging thing was that Chris Mason (Geography, Christs) did seem to be a slightly brighter than the average liberal art BBC dope. The panel were so wrong headed that someone had to put other rational side to them I suppose (though Mason did it far to gently).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      It was odd that most of the panel wanted to release terrorists who might well stab, shoot, behead or blow up aircraft killing hundreds. This as they argued that they will only be released a bit later anyway (so best get these murders out of the way early it seems). But then these same people seemed to want people non payment of the BBC licence/propaganda tax to remain a criminal offence. Plus one assumes for these evil people to be imprisoned!

      I assumes as these panellists consider the climate alarmist, pro EU, big government propaganda (that the BBC endlessly inflict on the nation) is so vital so as to keep the crony, subsidy driven green industries and ever bigger government on the road.

      • Martin R
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        But it’s the religion of peace (we know because we’ve been told) and it’s just their way of showing how peaceful they are.

      • Bob
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        “But then these same people seemed to want people non payment of the BBC licence/propaganda tax to remain a criminal offence. Plus one assumes for these evil people to be imprisoned!”

        I don’t watch it, but wasn’t there anyone on the panel or in the audience with the nous to expose the obvious logic gap between freeing dangerous terrorists and watching TV without a BBC Licence?

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        I agree with all that you say!
        How can the government be so out of touch with reality, it’s desperately worrying, Boris Johnson is following energy policies that will lead to disaster
        Co2 is essential for life on the planet yet it’s being demonised, an erupting volcano produces more Co2 than mankind has since the beginning of time
        All the information is readily available so why is the government not listening?

        • hefner
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          On “How much CO2 does a single volcano emit” by Ethan Siegel (06 June 2017).
          An interesting study putting together all volcanic-related CO2 emissions and getting a total of 0.645 billion tons per year.
          Then quoting the average human-related emissions at 29 billion tons per year. So volcanic-related emissions are 2.2% of human emissions.

          So Lester, all the information might be readily available but it is clear it might not be understood.

          • Lester Beedell
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, and the data is 100% accurate?
            I would imagine it’s supposition because there is no accurate method of measuring it, you cannot strap a meter to the top of an erupting volcano
            In the meantime I’ll stick with the information that I’ve heard!

          • hefner
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            Please, read the paper and make your own mind. If what you were saying had any relationship with facts, the eruption of Mount St Helen in 1980 or Pinatubo in 1991 or Villarrica in 2015 or Taal in 2020 should have registered as a big sudden spiky increase in CO2 concentration and should have appeared on the Mauna Loa measurements, which have been continuous since 1958. I will let you check whether this has been the case.

      • APL
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        lifelogic: “This as they argued that they will only be released a bit later anyway (so best get these murders out of the way early it seems).”

        So long as these terrorists focus their attention on working classes. The administrative and governmental classes consider this a price worth paying.

        It’s exactly the same dynamic that played out during the IRA bombing campaign. But as soon as they tried to blow up Thatcher and her cohort, SUDDENLY!! we were talking with the IRA and the Good Friday accord was signed. Presto, terrorist Martin McG & Gerry Adams was a paid up civil servant.

        British Political class, is only interested in their own selfish self interest.

        The biggest mistake of the last century was to make them a paid cadre responsible to themselves.

    • NickC
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, It seems Boris thinks that battery electric cars are no more a change than his Boris Bicycles.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Please get some independent, honest and competent engineers to explain it to these deluded politicians.

  4. Shirley
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Why bother discussing this ridiculous concept? It is impossible to achieve without destroying the UK, and other countries. We should wait until science and technology catches up.

    Public transport is abysmal and the costs of motoring are unattainable for many. Likewise for home heating.

    I am yet to be convinced that CO2 is a problem anyway, and even if it is, the CO2 generated in the UK hardly makes UK bankruptcy a worthwhile cost to supposedly save the ‘world’. There is something else (other than CO2) driving this agenda, but I doubt we proles will be informed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Even if C02 is a serious problem (and the science suggests it is not at all) then the UK’s “renewables” agenda make no significant difference to atmospheric C02 anyway. It just exports it and the energy intensive jobs and industries too.

    • agricola
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Look for who might be making a fortune out of it and you have found your drivers.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink


        It has been reported that the Queen and Prince Charles could make more than £100million a year from the huge expansion of offshore windfarms. More than enough to fund his annual travel bill and heat his large properties!

    • Fishknife
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I doubt we proles will be informed.
      Migratory and economic forces have condensed people to cities where pollution is consequently concentrated.
      Without the income stream from the automotive industry Brussels is even more unrealistic as a world Superpower.
      The French and German car industries have stalled, we aren’t buying cars.
      Solution: invent the future as electric cars.
      Ignore the facts that we need massive amounts of neodymium (very rare and mined mainly in China), lightweight batteries using more rare earth minerals, that physics is against the concept of electric cars – they aren’t good at high speed and long distances. (Did Dyson give us a hint when he gave up on battery research?)
      Germany and France can import gas from Russia, Germany and Poland are happy with coal.
      India, America, China and the developing world need massive quantities of fossil fuels.
      UK going Green is less use than a F**t in a Hurricane.
      However the government must be seen to be doing something.
      The £3,500 subsidy for electric cars only benefits the rich, we proles pay.
      Green Energy – we proles pay.
      In the UK we have two populations with widely divergeant motive needs, urban and country. Electric vehicles are great in towns and cities – useless in the rest of the country – so we need two solutions, one of which needs to be a replacement “green” fuel for combustion engines.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Tend to agree the Government is almost in panic mode about emissions, when probably science and engineering will produce better long term and more sensible solutions.

      Afraid I do not have all of the information to make a really informed comment JR because I am a little confused.

      Does the Government actually generate all of the electricity we use, I would suggest no, (interconnected with Europe etc) but it is investing in new power stations, and thus I guess selling the supply to private supply companies, some of whom seem to be operating almost from a Bedroom from recent press reports.

      Thus total confusion as to who is responsible for what, a bit like the railways.

      Should one of the basics in life be controlled by the Government, or private industry under sensible Government compliance ?

      Just like the railways we seem to be falling between two ideas at the moment.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      One might well wonder why those who believe in climate change and rising sea levels are churning up our countryside to build acres of ticky tacky houses.
      Surely they will all be washed away?

    • NickC
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Shirley, Replacing all road vehicles with battery electric equivalents, without bothering about the fuel (electrical energy) requirements, cannot work. Boris has made himself appear as irrelevant and ridiculous as Ed Davey.

    • B K Williams
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Look at the UN 20 30 Agenda for your answer.

  5. Frances Truscott
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    We need to be as self sufficient in energy as possible. We need mixed energy sources nationally and in the home. We are going to have power cuts because of the storm. I have one open fire I can use for heating. Making people just have electricity is a terrible idea. It puts everyone at dangerous risk from weather or the hacking of the grid. We need smaller scale, more local, and mixed energy sources.

    • agricola
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      We have fracked gas and oil. We have Rolls Royce developing nuclear submarine power plants into local power stations. We have Wales, Scotland and parts of England suitable for resevoirs to produce hydroelectic power or storage units for power when you need it. All cheaper than HS2. So what can we do to overcome government ignorance and lethargy. Should we ever master Fusion Energy the spivs in Parliament will flog it just as they have done with every earlier advance we have made. It happens because we have a Parliament of talking head lawyers and noone with technical understanding.

      • Mark
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        I think you should check the work of the British Hydropower Association before assuming that there is a lot of spare pumped storage potential. Unless your plan is to flood much of the Highlands, which I think even the SNP would struggle to sell.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Frances. You are right. I am noticing the higher bills since moving to a house without gas. No cooking and no heating during a power cut and God knows how long they will last with this governments stupid energy policy.

  6. David_Kent
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Surely much of the point of higher prices for energy is to discourage people from using it in all forms. This effect is reduced by offloading higher fuel and electricity onto taxation. Indeed we will need lower taxes to generate the economic activity to pay for all the higher priced fuel.

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Taking us back to the stone age on the back of some pseudo science won,t end well. Bankruting the country to appease a handful of eco zealots is not the answer.
    Hopefully Nigel will come back with a party that will abandon the most extreme ideas until technology has caught up. Beware.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately for all the sterling work Nigel has done over the years to push for escaping the EU, he also has a record of wrecking the the political parties he has led, namely UKIP and the “Brexit Party”.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        please explain.

        • Martin R
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:33 am | Permalink

          In answer to your question, Nigel walked out of UKIP and left it in a shambles with membership in steep decline and the party on the rocks financially. Gerard Batten rescued the party financially and rebuilt the membership. He was then ousted by the NEC which likes to think it is entitled to decide policy, although its members have never stood in a leadership election like the party leader. The NEC then did the same to the next elected leader. As UKIP was very largely a one man band, when Farage left he took a large swathe of the membership with him, which brought the party to its knees. As for his Brexit Party, he wrecked that with an about-turn by suddenly deciding at the last minute to tell half his candidates who had committed to the GE to throw in the towel. Understandably they weren’t too impressed. Now, as I understand it the Brexit Party is yesterday’s news and he wants to start up another party altogether. Or possibly not, because I cannot keep up with his constant changes of direction.

          • Fred H
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

            The parties are in reality the members and their opinions. If he had wrecked them both, then the members must have agreed with him.
            I suppose your view might be correct if following Cameron’s departure- but the C’s survived. Following the shambles of May not only did they survive but returned stronger…

          • Martin R
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink


            So do Tory Party members agree with paying £100 Bn+ for the unwanted HS2, being forced to drive inferior but more expensive EV’s, pay £12.5 Bn on useless renewables every year, or pretend to go carbon free and trash the whole economy in the process? On your theory the party is the members so all that should be impossible.

  8. Ian Wilson
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    So-called “green” policies are often nothing of the kind.
    At the risk of repetition from recent days, wind turbines must be one of the most environmentally damaging means of energy production, may well not save CO2 over their life cycles (if that matters), are very costly with damage to households and industry alike and are hopelessly unreliable. A million turbines would not have kept Britain supplied in January’s anticyclone. In Germany protests against new wind turbines are gathering pace – perhaps we need to follow suit.
    Likewise ministers are sweeping under the carpet the dirty side of electric cars, notably damaging mining and dangerous child labour.
    We are paying heavily for supposedly green initiatives which damage both the economy and environment, all to solve a probably non-problem. I have asked many parties and individuals why CO2 is so damaging at present levels when it clearly wasn’t at between 4,000 and 8,000 ppm in prehistory, between 10 and 20 times present levels. I have yet to receive a cogent reply.

  9. Stephen Priest
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    With a big majority the Conservative have big opportunity to ignore the Left’s agenda.

    Unfortunately the signs don’t look good:

    ridiculous climate change targets, Angela Leadsom waffling about “glass ceilings”, HS2.

    When people vote Conservative they expect:

    Police to catch criminals , not Twitter users.
    Controlled public spending.
    Lower taxes
    Policies the help businesses, not hinder them

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Exactly, Leadsom talking complete drivel in “diversity” in company boardrooms. More competence yes (diverse or otherwise). Who is best to judge the best people to run a business ? The management and shareholders who have money in the company now – or Ms Leadsom and other politicians who cannot run anything in the state sector remotely efficiently?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      They are also in a position to ignore the electorate for a few years too.

      Whatever they do now, you won’t remember in four years time.

      You never have done before.

      • NickC
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Don’t be silly. Stephen cites HS2 which became a company in 2009. That’s 11 years ago, not 4.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:32 am | Permalink

        Presented with the Corbyn prospect – and the gloating of Grant/Coogan I didn’t really have much choice but to vote the present charlatan into office.

        I vote any way that pisses you off now.

        That’s all I do.

        The person who pisses you off most is the one I’m going to vote for. That’s all my vote is worth.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    The guiding principle should be that the market should decide. Imposition of heavy taxes without the consent of the tax payer will not work. They will simply vote with their feet and their wallets. We see this time and time again.

    I did not vote for Brexit to see EU NGO inspired regulation to be replaced by UK NGO inspired regulation and the taxes and costs that inevitably accompany them. Green policies and their substantial costs have been imposed on us this way for the past twenty years. It is time to call a halt, to review what actually is sensible and acceptable and to reverse what is not sensible and unacceptable. This will be contentious because government funded propaganda to promote these policies has been with us at least since the 1990s.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Correct. But this time they cannot hide behind mummy EU.

  11. Stred
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    The government has accepted the advice of the Climate Change Committee. They have written that the consumer will have to pay and industry will have to be subsidised. The total cost including insulating the housing stock and other buildings, tripling electricity generation with 100% backup for a two week wind lull, reforming plant for natural gas to hydrogen, gas and electricity grid renewal, smart meters that actually work, 15,000 wind turbines that need renewing every 20 years, biofuel crops and carbon capture to stick the gas under the North Sea and much more…. Will cost trillions, not billions. When it hits, Boris and Gummer with his academic crew will be long gone.

    • NigelE
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Reforming natural gas to hydrogen will do little to reduce CO2 emissions as the carbon is removed from the methane at the reforming stage and emitted as CO2.

      • Stephen Refern
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        They plan to bury it. More money for the oil and gas industry.

        • Mark
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          But without producing anything useful. Oil and gas production have provided large tax income, and bigger balance of payments benefits to the economy. The CCC plan would require a 3 million barrel a day operation just to bury it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      A Climate Change Committee that claims to be “independent” but only alarmists need apply (preferably with little understanding of science, physics, climate or energy). It is chaired by Lord Debden (with his openly declare private interests) and who has been a massive climate alarmist for very many years.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The Climate Change Committee claims to be “independent”, but is chaired by Lord Debden and has a clear, very one sided and totally misguided agenda on this (just like the BBC’s in fact). It should be abolished now.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      They don’t know what to do with old wind turbine blades , I have seen pictures of them being buried, currently there is no way to recycle them.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      When it hits it will be too late for this country anyway because its economy and industries will be so devastated that they will never be able to recover. And the alternative to Boris and Gummer, the communists aka as Labour are even madder than the aforementioned, difficult as that is even to imagine possible.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      As you rightly say, the cost of this needless lunacy has to be measured in trillions, not mere billions. Up to now these raving lunatics have merely shown a propensity for throwing taxpayers’ hard earned money away by the tens of billions (HS2, renewables). The zero carbon madness shows they’re really getting started on us now they’ve got a majority and won’t allow anything to get in their way until the country has been reduced to a smoking ruin.

      • L Jones
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        I used to believe that BJ was his own man.
        I don’t any more. He seems almost to be a straw in the wind.

  12. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    To run a one fuel electrical economy is strategically highly dangerous in terms of vulnerability.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      It certainly is.

    • dixie
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      We are not and I don’t think will ever be a one fuel economy. However, there is not enough consideration given to energy strategy, that is shared.

      We are currently highly dependent on oil/gas but it appears no-one seems to be worrying about where that comes from, the costs involved nor the complications and entanglements of it’s sources.

  13. Mick
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Off topic again
    This is just getting beyond a joke now, this needs stamping out now, we cannot forget the Farage poster from the referendum campaign how true, it’s about time you did a blog on migration/illegals so people like myself can be put at ease knowing that something is being done about it and not brushed under a carpet

  14. Nig l
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    The smart meter fiasco shows that whatever our views are or the experts who said it wouldn’t work or the millions who at best only saved nothing/a few pounds because they were efficient anyway, no one will take any notice. I guess because my bill ‘only crept up’ I accepted it.

    Your comments ignore, maybe deliberately, the capital cost to householders of replacing gas without thinking about where the extra generating capacity is coming from.

    New radiators, house rewired, wall paper replaced, so redecoration/replacement in every room, replacement cooking job, £20/30k I reckon. Please Sir JR where is that coming from?

    Plus of course the trades, where are all those electricians etc to do the work? same place as the electricity. Fairy land.

    Ps. Note to Andrea Leadsom. We want the best people to govern our country measured by talent not gender.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Tell Cressida Dick too. She says she wants to recruit the best of the best but for them to match the diversity of Londoners! Clearly she is far too daft to see that logically you can only do one or the other never both!

      • Mark
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        It might make sense if she aimed to recruit teams who understand both linguistically and in mindset the diverse inhabitants of London, with a view to improving policing standards for all.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        the best of the best ain’t gonna join the boys in blue.

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink


  15. Chris
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    I don’t have any brilliant answers to your question. But I don’t think renewables are a lot more expensive than fossil fuels. As I understand it the cost of electricity produced by modern wind turbines are now comparable to fossil fuel power stations, and that cost is going down. I think the nuclear option should also be seriously considered, which produces zero co2 and there is plentiful supply of fuel.

    I think what is implied by your question is that you see the extra costs of renewables but question the benefit. Maybe you will permit me to ask you a question. Who should pay for the cost of paying for the cost of the 1.5 million homes that are under risk of sea level rises (according to the daily mail: and the extra sea defences needed to protect London, Cardiff and our other low lying cities? Should the people with low incomes in these areas also bear the brunt of the costs?

    • DaveK
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      There is no “brunt of the costs” as the premise is fiction. The global rate of sea level rise is approx 16 – 21 cm a century, however the rate has increased in the last 25 years to 30cm a century which means it will be 300 years before the ridiculous article could possibly occur.

      • Chris
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Where do you get your numbers from? This wikipedia article sets things out pretty clearly: By 2100 a possible rise of 2.4 metres.

        And as for the study reported by the daily mail, the full details are on the government website, it was performed by the met office: Maybe you don’t trust them either?!

        • Edward2
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          The figures you quote in those articles are predictions into the future based on worst case scenarios.
          Dave quoted actual recorded sea level rises over the last 100 years.

          The warmists were saying in the 1980s we would be under water in 2020.
          But it hasn’t happened.

    • NickC
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

      Chris, Windmills need backup for when the wind doesn’t blow. The Wind costs you see do not include the costs of the essential backup CCGT plant. So “renewables” (Wind) cost equivalence is fake.

      • Chris
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Well of course you can’t replace everything with wind turbines, but you can produce a good chunk. In the UK we already get 18% of all our energy from wind already, and the cost of that energy produced is similar to what it costs from a fossil fuel power station. To claim it is more expensive is wrong.

        Of course you need a base supply that is always present, which is why I suggested that we should reconsider nuclear power in the UK.

        • NickC
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          Chris, When the wind does not blow, alternative generating plant must be brought on-stream. That means such plant must be built in parallel to building Wind farms. That means the capital cost, and the maintenance and idling costs, of such plant are an essential part of the true costs of Wind. The figures which purport to show Wind costs similar to Gas costs, do not include these essential backup costs. So inevitably Wind must be more expensive.

    • wiggiatlarge
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      On the 6th 0f February Grid Watch recorded that sustainable energy was supplying just 2% of the total output, no doubt in the next couple of days storm Ciara will see all windmills shut down for safety reasons, no good telling us in the summer when demand was at its lowest that sustainable s provided for the first time over 50% in the summer it is irrelevant.
      Sustainable power needs stand by alternatives and you don’t just flick a switch to get that it has to be available, has anyone thought this current policy through or are they all deluded, probably the latter as with all things it is other peoples money.

      • Chris
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink Says power from wind is 27.9%. What were you looking at?

        • Stred
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Have a look at MyGrid, which gives wind and other generation over the whole year.

    • Stred
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      The claimed reduced costs of wind have not been produced yet and the companies are able to back out. The costs are about the same as gas but the gas price includes the carbon tax. If the consumer didn’t have to pay this, gas would be cheaper. It’s another green tax on the bill.

  16. Bob Dixon
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    What ever we do in the UK it will not compensate for the pollution generated by coal burnt in countries such as Poland, China el al. Australia has crazy pollution laws which is partly to blame for their ongoing fires.North America cannot control their fires. In South America and elsewhere their farmers burn away.

    • Chris
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Where do you get your numbers from? This wikipedia article sets things out pretty clearly: By 2100 a possible rise of 2.4 metres.

      And as for the study reported by the daily mail, the full details are on the government website, it was performed by the met office: Maybe you don’t trust them either?!

      • jerry
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        @Chris; You’re correct, most thinking people would not trust either the reference work or the Govt paper, given that both are likely to be using the same base line sources – did you even bother to check were the citations were coming from in that Wiki article?!…

      • dixie
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Why do you trust wikipedia?

        • Chris
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Well it’s more trustworthy than the nonsense write on this blog. People assert all sorts of stuff without citing any references. If you can find faults in the Wikipedia article, then maybe you could correct it and cite why you think it is wrong with your proof.

          • dixie
            Posted February 10, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            You haven’t given a reason to trust it, merely said you trust it.

            You cannot correct wikipedia, the authors are anonymous and unreachable

          • hefner
            Posted February 14, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            Dixie, Most wikipedia pages have at the top “View history” and “View source”. Going to the source, you can register and within 4 to 10 days become a potential editor for Wikipedia. Any modification you may want to introduce will be kept sleeping for 24-48 hours, is usually reviewed by a large group of people, and published on the main page and the history page. The history page collects the contribution and references of the contributor.
            So it is possible to correct Wikipedia, the authors are not anonymous and therefore could be reached.
            NB: My comment appears to be valid for an access to Wikipedia via a PC or a tablet, but the “View “s do not appear for a Wikipedia access via a smartphone,

      • NickC
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Chris, In 2009 Prince Charles claimed we had less than 100 months to save the planet. His deadline has come and gone, and here we still are. There are 30 years of absurd predictions from the climate extremists, none of which have come true. Do I believe we’ll all fry in 12 years (latest prediction)? Do I believe the Antarctic will be the only inhabitable continent within Greta Thunberg’s life expectancy? Of course not. Do you?

        • Chris
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          NickC, the scientific community is overwhelmingly in agreement over the effects that man has on the climate. The models accurately predict what has been happening since 1900 and often have understated the actual effects. Ie frequently things have come out worse than was predicted: including glacial melting rate.

          I would say it was an extremist view to ignore the views of the very people who know most about it, and I would say the onus is really on you to justify your views. But maybe you have some actual evidence that would prove the world community wrong, and if that is the case you publish the results of your findings so that they can be scrutinised thoroughly.

          • Stred
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            Note that the hockey stick never happened and they had to halve the calculated warming recently. The reported reason for the dodgy emails was an exercise in whitewash.

          • jerry
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            @Chris; “the scientific community is overwhelmingly in agreement over the effects that man has on the climate.”

            Well yes, if I was employed with a clique being paid millions each year to find AGW I’m sure I too would agree AGW is real!

            “The models accurately predict what has been happening since 1900 and often have understated the actual effects.”

            But we could be coming out of a industrial revolution induced cold period -and most likely are, such has been the reduction in particulate pollution since 1945, if not before (WW2 excepted), remember the river Thames used to regularly freeze back in the 1800s, enough for there to be written accounts of people skating from one bank to the other.

            Tell me, what was the average temperature, for the land mass now known as the UK, back in 1066, what was it in 10BC, what do those models you talk about tell us about those climatic period?…

            Pour yourself a strong black coffee, inhale the vapours…

          • Chris
            Posted February 10, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            Groan.. not that old wheeze again. The medieval warm period was a local phenomenon and nothing to do with global temperatures. All of this sceptic nonsense is very old news and really tiring to be honest. There are a number of postulations from climate sceptics and none of them have much basis in real science. Funny how some people read one book, or watch a tv program or read one website and suddenly they are an expert.

            Have a look at this page: Pick your ‘fact’ and lookup and read why you are wrong. In fact look anywhere on any respectable science page or ask anyone that knows anything about the subject (that isn’t a crank or oil subsidised loon) and they will tell you the full story.

  17. jerry
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Your second from last paragraph read more like a Christmas present wish-list than a serious govt policy proposal, and all that by 2035, even 2050…

    When will this ‘green’ madness stop, anyone else see parallels with the idiom of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”?..

  18. Mark B
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It seems, the world over, that people do not like being told by their elected representatives; “Let them eat cake !”

    Politicians and Civil Serpents need to understand price elasticity and the need for reliable affordable energy and the effects it can have on people, industry and the economy. All things like these are connected and, a politician such as Alexander Johnson getting up on his soap box and telling the world we are turning back the clock to the Dark Ages, quite literally it seams, is not something that is going to get him re-elected. But still, he is safe for another 5 years 😉

    Admittedly we cannot just keep burning fossil fuels ad infinitum as they are not a unlimited source of energy. But we equally cannot import millions of people which will consume more energy, all the while we are reducing our ability to produce energy. We have to look, as I have alluded to above, both the demand and the supply side. We need to first cut demand. This can be done in a number of ways but, reduction in people is a good start. We also need to increase the number of ways we can generate energy reliably and without artificial subsidy to an affordable cost.

    There is at some stage going to be a tipping point, the runes are there as our our kind host suggests. The trouble is, is our government listening ? Sadly, to answer my own question, I think not.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Others here get to post multiple times and have them passed. I post once and, yet again, get held in moderation.

      So what rules or inconvenient truths did I speak this time?

      • hefner
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        Do not worry, you might even take that as a compliment as your comment might be of importance relative to the verbiage spouted by others.

        • Mark B
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          I do not seek compliments. What I seek, is to be treated equally. I clearly broke no rules as the post was passed and not edited. So again, why hold it in moderation ?

          • agricola
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            I suspect it happens because moderation does not like anything that generates a lot of follow up comment, which suggests it is thought provoking. The repetitious, predictable and troll nonesense pass because they produce nothing new. If you call politicians to account, likely as not they run from the field with the ball by just ignoring you. They are particularle resentful of inside knowledge and generally have little sense of humour.

  19. GilesB
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Don’t introduce more means testing.

    Much better to put the charge on everyone’s bills and increase the allowances on which the most deprived claimants depend.

    The more transparency about the cost of going green the better. Don’t hide it in general taxation. Let people feel the pain that they vote for

    • jerry
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      @GilesB; “increase the allowances on which the most deprived claimants depend.”

      But there are a lot of such people who fall through the gaps, either due to the unbending complex rules or because -to put it bluntly- some are simply to proud to claim what should be theirs by right (and many are natural and true Conservative voters too).

      General income taxation is exactly were this money should be raised, after it is a natural means test, I hear what you say about hiding the cost, but why not make it a legal duty of the (green) energy companies to make public via their tariffs/bills what subsidies they or their contractors receive, how much, when & why.

      Let people feel the pain that they vote for

      If only other govt polices, such as cuts to public services, had to follow such logic, only Tory voting areas being subjected to them!..

  20. Kenneth
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    What happened to conservation?

    “Renewables” are currently in fashion with the Islington set. They are a fickle and fashion conscience lot….something else will take their fancy next decade.

    I would like to see more effort put into finding ways of conserving energy and materials. Doing more with less. Cutting bills instead of adding to them.

    We have the capability of producing lighter materials and more efficient ways of consuming power. Let’s be world leaders in that endeavour rather than championing wild schemes.

  21. agricola
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Frankly I am tired of talking about it and not being listened to. A situation you no doubt prefer so that you can continue worshiping your false god. Parliamentarians being on the whole technically illiterate prefer the knee jerk reaction based on the opinions of pubescent schoolgirls, those who can sit on Westminster Bridge the longest, and vested lobby interests who take them out to lunch.

    When I see you creating a scientific, engineering based advisory committee from among those who know, as did Churchill in WW2 , I will think you have woken up. At present I see no rigourous questioning taking place. None of the green apostles are cross examined.

    All you have achieved is the littering of our land with unreliable windmills, steps guaranteed to destroy our vehicle industry, next to nothing to create nuclear alternatives, you have no opinions on what RollsRoyce are doing on the creation of small nuclear units, or what the available technology might be for future internal combustion engines. Why are these alternatives not being followed up and presented to the forthcoming talking shop in Glasgow. Your present paucity of thinking is more likely to invite Greta were she to row across creating more sound bites. The world of technology was not created for legislaters ignorance to destroy. Remove peoples freedom of travel and they will get you in the ballot box if not in the streets. You will find yourselves herding cats, not sheep.

    Here is another wild idea. Wales, Scotland, and parts of England are full of valleys that could be damed, flooded and used to create hydro electricity. You might have the added bonus of sufficient water, and the site of the SNP going apoplectic.

    • agricola
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      So what don’t you like.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        The painful truth it seems 😉

        • agricola
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Absoluetely, the paucity of understanding and tallent among the talking heads.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    So the tax to death, socialist Javid is now considering a further attack on private pensions. Restricting tax relief (actually just tax deferral in the main anyway) to basic rate. This would, of course, be totally idiotic as there would be little point in putting cash it in (and getting only 20% back) only to pay 40% or 45% on it at draw down.

    Please JR can you tell the very foolish socialist Javid that we already have the highest taxes for 40+ years (thanks to Osborne/Hammond) and we get dire public services and almost nothing of any real value for it?

    Tell Boris and Javid to stop pissing money down the drain on lunacies like HS2. It is tax cuts and simplifications that are needed to grow the tax base not even more tax, borrow and waste!

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Is Javid planning to double tax private pension savers, how does this a[ply to public sector pension savers and who pays for that us again? Just an undocumented wage increase for them, or does the individual have to actually pay folding money out of their nett?

      It really is time this argument was had out in the open. Public sector pension receivers like Javid stabbing others in the back! What is the true actuarial benefit pot that public sector pensioners get at 60 and younger in some services?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Indeed we have pension apartheid. Last time I looked state sector worker average private pension was worth about 1/5 of average state sector ones. Many private sector workers having non or virtually non at all beyond the state pension.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          State sector pensions value 5 times average private ones I meant.

          • Fred H
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            LL – – state sector worker. Current max state pension is £8,767 pa. So average private pension must be about £1,753 pa. What a terrible prospect – total £10,520 pension.
            Any response from Andy on his view of the wealthy pensioners?

      • DavidJ
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        That’s what we get with a politically core ct appointment rather than someone qualified for the job.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I think we are all well aware that Mr Javid isn’t in the job because of any obvious conservative credentials but because his presence ticks certain important politically correct boxes. It seems the only choice of government available to us is socialism on steroids (Tories) or marxism on steroids (Labour).

  23. BeebTax
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Most of us have no idea how much these green measures actually cost us as individuals. How can we therefore make informed decisions about how to levy these charges (and the extent to which we agree with the policies behind them)?

    There should be clear “labelling” on utility bills, tax demands, receipts for expenditure on fuel, transport etc etc so the we can all gauge how much this is costing us. After that we might be able to figure out if we feel content to pay for these measures, and suggest fair ways of paying for them.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Cost of the Tories’ bonkers greeny virtue signalling? Currently £450 in subsidies alone for every household in the land every year, and going up. The insane proposed switch to electricity instead of gas will treble or quadruple household energy bills. You will very easily ascertain that by checking your current bill and substituting electricity for gas, even a current rates, and doing some simple arithmetic. You can only begin to imagine how many millions will end up in extreme fuel poverty as a result. And how many millions will end up voting for the communists as a consequence.

    • NickC
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Beebtax, At current prices and rates we have been charged just short of £1trn gross by the EU, so about £500bn net because of rebates, grants, etc.

      At current prices I estimate that the infrastructure for Boris’s battery cars will cost well north of £3trn. Cars extra. Double the generation; double Grid capacity; refineries to go; likewise distribution and filling stations; all streets dug up; safety issues for cars charged on the streets; etc. And all in 15 years. So about 10 times the money wasted on the EU on an annual basis. At least.

      • John C.
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        There is one consolation. It is all so improbable that you know it’s never going to happen.

  24. Wil Pretty
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I asked my local U3A current affairs group when they thought we should go carbon neutral, the concensus was 2030.
    I then asked them how much they would be prepared to pay in increased energy costs. No one was prepared to pay anything.
    I calculated the goverment advised cost by the population. It worked out roughly £400 per month per person.
    The general population seems to believe that projects done by the Government are free!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Much of the general public do indeed think it is free, and for non net tax payers, (about 50%) it largely is. This view is much encouraged by socialist in the the parties and by the BBC. Endlessly saying the government must invest more in this, that and the other. Ignoring of course that they can only invest by taking money of others, who would nearly always have invested it far more widely.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        ‘non net tax payers, (about 50%)’

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          I have seen figure supporting this fought figure many times. Anyone earning say £20K or less is paying only about £4K in NI and Tax a little bit in VAT and perhaps some council tax and fuel duty. But they might well have three children at a state schools that might cost £20K. Plus perhaps help with rent, council tax, subsidised housing ….. plus they use the roads, bin collections, police, defence and will get a state pension later too …….

          • hefner
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            So, LL, what do YOU want to do with them?

          • Fred H
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            you provided no evidence that approx 50% of employed pay no (income)tax. If that were true they would be earning less than £12,500 – so either working less than say 30 hrs, or on minimum wage and under 21. I doubt either are true.

          • DaveK
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

            I read an article on thisismoney in 2012 which calculated from ONS figures that you had to earn £40,000 per annum to be a net taxpayer. This has no doubt changed to even higher. Another figure more recently used in 2016 discussing whether immigration was a net benefit stated the figure to be £43,600.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            Look it up on t’internet Fred.
            You will be surprised.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            Fred H no “net tax” so they pay less in tax and NI than they and their family get back in direct benefits, child allowances and direct services such bin collection and schools.

          • Fred H
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

            You didn’t tell me Edward. Which is it? Do you agree income tax is not paid if earnings are under £12,500 currently? So, if paid max minimum wage of £8.21 divide into say £12,980 = 1,521 hours per annum = 29 hours per week. So half the employed work less than 30 hours, and/or paid less than £8.22 per hour.
            You can find anything you want to believe from the internet. Instead do some basic maths.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            The maths is misleading because you’ve missed out those working part time, the self employed, those on lower ages of minimum wage levels and those not in work.
            Lifelogic is right around 50% of the population pay no income tax.
            Whilst the top 5% of earners pay over 25% of all income tax revenues.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Wisely – not “widely” but probably that too.

  25. formula57
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    You set a difficult question. My view is where ” big investment and spending programmes” will benefit the country as a whole, the burden should fall on taxpayers but upon users and consumers where the benefit is more narrow in scope (following the principle of “polluter pays” seen in industrial clean-up legislation). I acknowledge that one would soon run into problems of definition.

    The Going Green initiatives would have to be shown as necessary, especially when taxpayer funded.

  26. Fred H
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    A schedule of change has been decided way ahead of the science and proof that the existing energy use of gas, petrol and diesel can be eliminated without disaster for users and the economy. No doubt research and production preparation is being ramped up, but strong arguments remain against the wisdom of using electricity to replace the other energy sources, when to enable sufficient electricity green policies have to be ignored!
    There are significant savings of costs incurred in Aid programmes, as an example, which should be diverted to fund the transfer. That sort of contribution would ease the cost levied on the domestic consumer.

  27. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Neither option is acceptable when we are talking about a myth – We are already taxed beyond what is reasonable – To impose additional taxes simply shows how inadequate thinking is anyway, never mind that it will have no affect on the imaginary problem.

    What happened to innovation Why do we still build throw away products? Council houses last maybe 60 years, Cars maybe 10 years. If the green lobby were really serious, they would have insisted that things that last a whole lot longer… but then that would mean less production and less tax… new cars are certainly a good way to raise tax – and this brings us to the hub of the matter…. THIS IS ALL ABOUT MONEY….!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      We build throwaways so they can be jettisoned and new products bought.
      This green scam is the ultimate throwaway.
      We will be legally FORCED to buy new.
      An old but fully working gas boiler can be condemned by the manufacturer who has serviced it happily for years ( falsely maintaining that it contains asbestos which was actually outlawed a year before its manufacture!). At the moment it is possible to find a reg gas man who will carry out a service but this will soon not be the case I imagine.
      And then of course removal will be mandatory.
      Over the years…coal is bad…get clean modern electricity…oh no…get oil ( whole housing estates piped up to a central tank)….whoooops no…we meant.. have GAS…puts you “in control”… sorreeeee gas is BAD…wood burners are eco friendly…no they are not….and now we are castigated for doing AS WE WERE TOLD!

      • Martin R
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        I recently had to replace my old boiler (cast iron) which lasted almost thirty seven years. Thanks to the edicts of one J Prescott esq., that widely renowned ship’s bar steward expert on central heating technology, I have been forced to replace it with a complex condensing boiler with a heat exchanger the manufacturer is only prepared to warrant for seven years life. With luck then it might only need to be replaced a mere five times over in comparison with a boiler with old fashioned cast iron technology. My only consolation is I won’t be around that long to have to pay the cost of repeatedly replacing it.

  28. Kevin
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    “This also has a bearing on the pace of change people want.”

    The brevity of the blog format allows for the presentation of no more than a summary, barebones argument on any topic. So here is my summary, barebones reply: I do not think the Conservative Government has presented a rational, unemotional case for making any change at all. It certainly has not justified the enforcement of draconian change on an unwilling public.

    • Nig l
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      10 ex 10 for brevity and accuracy. I listened to Gove with Julia HB a few days ago plumbing new depths of oiliness and condescension, even for him, to cover up the fact that HMG didn’t have a clue on cost, delivery in fact anything that the CEO of a large business would want to know before making any pronouncements.

      They rely on a supine public. We need the French or Chilean mentality without the rioting bit.

    • glen cullen
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      I fully agree with your summary, in my life time the UK has never been cleaner nor greener…so whats the problem, you cant continue the green adventure forever

    • cosmic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Exactly right.

      Also there’s an implied notion that what we do in the UK will have a key impact, which it clearly won’t, or that somehow we are going gain huge international kudos by politicians kidding us we are somehow taking leadership in this, which we won’t.

  29. Cynic
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Once people realise what these green policies are costing them and the effects they will have on their lives, they will react against them. Most people are concerned about real problems, not scare stories.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      I wish they would calculate how much the NHS is costing them too. I pay about £18,000 per GP appointment because, thank God, I’m healthy.

      • hefner
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Lynn, could you please be a bit more explicit and share your own calculations? I was lucky enough not to have to see a doctor in 2018 and 2019. Does that put the cost of this non-existing appointment at infinity?
        Thanks in advance.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

          Calculate your total NHS payments over life and divide by the number of appointments you have made.
          I have no objection to paying for our own people who are sick, my father (ex Wartime submarine officer) was seriously ill for 34 years and bedridden for the last 10. Those unlucky people constitute a small percentage of the population.

  30. Graham Wood
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    PMQs in the Commons this week witnessed two deluded politicians. Corbyn majored on something called “a climate emergency” and Johnson wittered on about “zero carbon emissions”. The questions abound and multiply.
    Sane and reasonable people are justified in asking what is the emergency? What will happen if we do not reach a highly theoretical position of zero carbon? Where are any deaths recorded in the UK or elsewhere of anybody dying as a result of “climate change”? Which climate zone is changing if any? And on and on.

    Real climate scientists must react with total disbelief and amazement that such futile discussions by those who are not scientists can be pursued with a level of dogmatic assertion that is simply unsustainable, bizarre and utterly unrelated to reality.

    As an AGW theory “denier” along with millions of others we would like to know why the climate alarmists pursue their obsession when:
    A. There is no evidence for their claims, and it remains therefore a non problem, and:
    B. the theory means abandoning the basic scientific process used in every other field of enquiry, involving presenting a hypothesis, followed by repeated experiments, production of data, followed by evidence, theory prediction and explanation so that a truly reasoned conclusion can be reached.
    All of that is missing in the current debate and therefore richly deserves the derision and opprobrium that ‘deniers’ heap upon it daily – it remains the biggest fraud since the theory of evolution.
    Meanwhile the Chinese, as we know are building coal fired power stations on a massive scale week by week. So much for “zero emissions” globally!

    • BOF
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      + 1

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink


    We know that you know that the issue of climate change is a monstrous political scam with one aim, to assert State and political control over our lives.

    This control is all around us. Freedom, speech, energy use, vehicle replacement, broadcasting propaganda by social objectives, media. Orwellian doesn’t even begin to describe the nature of the developments taking place

    It is as though we now live in a hermetically sealed container under constant supervision by forces unknown

    When a political class roll out a 16 year old child to front their climate change propaganda scam then you start to think to yourself ‘Am I being taken for a ride by these politicos’? And the answer is, Yes.

    Even challenging the veracity of the climate change paradigm has become a heresy punishable by exclusion.

    The west is damaged and it’s been deliberately by people with sinister intent.

    The great politicians are the ones who reject the prevailing orthodoxy. Thatcher and now Trump. Both vilified

    No one talks about nuclear. Why?

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Control yes. Don’t forget the cashless society being forced upon us where every single penny spent will be on a computer record – and TOTAL control of access to your account will be on someone else’s decision. Don’t forget the Automated Accident Assist system built into new cars – in reality a satellite tracker system that will soon be used to automate speeding fines. Don’t forget the breathalizer/drug wipes done by the Police to get your saliva – and therefore your DNA ( The mouthpiece of the breathalizer doesn’t get returned to you after you have blown a completely negative result). I and a lot of workmates had this done years ago. Three separate Police forces – all conveniently forgetting to return the mouthpiece – hardly coincidence. Refusal of the test means automatic loss of license and the problems linked with that. Don’t forget that we are the most watched nation on the planet – with more cctv cameras per head than anywhere else. They were supposedly set up to catch criminals but are more used to watch us. Home cctv used to be that you could not have it set up to watch over other people’s property, only your own, yet now the police regularly use people’s home cctv to see what has happened in the whole street – -therefore using a system, paid for by the homeowner, for their own use.
      UK a free country? Only for illegal immigrants with fake IDs.

      Glad I’m old with not long to go.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        We are increasingly living in a world that Marcus Wolf often dreamt of and worked towards.

    • Stred
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      They cost nuclear based on the cost of the very expensive European Pressurised Reactor at Hinckley and ignore the lower cost of other designs used everywhere else. The proposed alternatives have not been taken up by Hitachi and the Korean companies because the regulations and funding make it unprofitable. The Finns and others manage to build nuclear successfully but we can’t.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        The EU insists on min EU/EEA 60% ownership of nuclear plants which, given that the leading nuclear power operators are outside the EU,has made it difficult to establish a viable operating model.The Bulgarians started work on a plant around ten years ago and had to stop under EU pressure(incurring an eyewatering penalty from the Russian supplier in the process) although this project now seems to be resurfacing.

        The Hungarians have ordered two more Russian reactors (to complement the existing two late Soviet era reactors) but have had to create a fiendishly complex financing structure with locally based Russian entities.

        There was an interesting survey in Finland last December which showed the Finns relatively relaxed about using nuclear to fight climate change-48% pro vs 35% against-and approval was actually higher among the 15-24 age group than older groups.

        • Stred
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

          The Finns use Russian reactors and Rolls Royce controls. If only our civil service was as business like.

    • BOF
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      ‘The west is damaged and it’s been deliberately by people with sinister intent.’

      And this can only be done with the co-operation and collusion of those in power.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink


    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      ….it’s a ‘dirty’ word, because people don’t understand what it actually is. All they hear is ‘waste’, or ‘contamination’ or ‘disaster’.

      Drop all the ‘waste’ in the Mariana Trench and let plate tectonics do the rest – returning it to the upper mantle.

      You know, with every passing day, I become evermore convinced that we are all living in a version of ‘The Truman Show’.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      The government is observing the Paris Agreement in pursuance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to which it is a signatory.

      We have left the EU, allegedly. That it is international effort to attack European peoples sense of national identity, indeed with the infusion into the mix of millions of unassimilable aliens, it is a recipe for destroying who we are by those who are not us, hiding behind the curtain in the Berlaymont.

      So now we find we are still subject to more egregious international scams originating from those that hide behind the curtain in the United Nations building in New York. The first is the global warming hoax and the second is the Global Compact for Migration penned by Peter Sutherland, and designed to flood Europe with unassimilable aliens as of right, which Theresa May, an alleged conservative, signed.

      Now we are out of the EU, we now need to resile from the UN in New York, an organisation that has been infiltrated by haters of those of European ancestry.

      • Stred
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        And Common Purpose. Now urgently pursuing Agenda 21. How many in Downing Street and the ministries and quangos?

  32. Sharon Jagger
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic.

    There’s a lot of people worrying about the direction Boris heading. He’s got a brilliant majority in government and a lot of the country behind him.

    There’s a lot of signs that he’s bowing to the left again. Apart from Brexit, it is not looking good.

    5G – poor decision

    HS2 – probably will be a poor decision

    Canning gas boilers – poor decision

    Electric car sales – ridiculous decision

    Gentryfying Hammond and Clark – ridiculous decision.

    Not looking like good start Boris.

    People wanted change and we know that can mean pain- so stable and certain is the wrong rhetoric. People want a CONSERVATIVE government.

    • Oggy
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Well said Sharon, I agree wholeheartedly with you.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      I noticed at PMQs he bragged about his globalist beleifs when criticisng the SNP as they have ‘Nationalist’ in their title. Boris has fooled many. He’s just another one of the elites we had hoped to get rid of.

      It’s time the word ‘betrayal’ were resurrected.

    • Fred H
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink


      I’m sure a growing number of voters are getting anxious about Boris’ apparent decisions.
      It could well be the death of political interest, and the end of Conservative support.

    • Timaction
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink


    • MWB
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      What a pity that people didn’t think about getting a CONSERVATIVE government at the time of the election, by voting BREXIT.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        MWB – – quite!

      • Mark B
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink


  33. alastair harris
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I can’t see the point in all this government meddling. The fact is wind and solar is expensive and intermittent, and so has to be supported by either nuclear or a fuel based system. And the point about cars is that inspite of all the effort there is little enthusiasm from the car buying public for a technology that requires hours to refuel and offers limited range. And is more expensive per mile when the subsidies are ignored and you look at the total cost.
    And on top of that none of this meddling makes much difference to the problem we are told it is trying to fix.
    Trump may have many faults, but he has taken the right stand against the climate change doom merchants.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Why is it always necessary to say President Trump has faults? So do we all. He wasn’t elected to be likeable but to deliver what he promised. And deliver he has despite unbelievable opposition from the now corrupt Democrats, the establishment (swamp), and even his own party (the Rinos).

  34. Mark Hodgson
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    We shouldn’t be wasting any money on these things while most of the rest of the world carries on regardless. So long as that state of affairs continues, this is simply expensive virtue-signalling, destroying what’s left of our manufacturing capability (and exporting that manufacturing abroad, then importing the manufactures from abroad) whilst plunging millions into fuel poverty. Not only does all this not reduce CO2 emissions globally (and thus make absolutely no difference to climate change) it arguably increases net global CO2 emissions, since our manufacturing needs will be met in countries like China, which still relies heavily on coal power, and whose citizens already have a much higher per capita CO2 footprint than do UK citizens, and which has lower environmental standards than the UK.

    I do wish our politicians would learn to think, and not simply allow themselves to be dragged along by the very vocal but very small minority of “green” activists (who are often anything but green).

  35. Dave Andrews
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The journey to work shows a nearly universal preference for motor vehicles over greener options like cycling, unabated over the years.
    The general population has virtually no interest in green policies.

  36. hefner
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Sea Warrior, the report you were quoting yesterday (07/02 1:46pm) is likely to be “Small Modular Reactors: Once in a Lifetime Opportunity for the UK”.

    • BOF
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Yes of course, but far too sane and sensible a choice for our Government as they cower before the onslaught of the climate change tyrants. I am sure they would rather see the technology sold off abroad.

  37. Jeff Todd
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Can we really believe Government anyway? The sad fact of life is that the environmentalists have been wrong 100% of the time; any of their advice acted on by Government turns out to have been a mistake – remeber that diesel was a good thing, and now suddenly it is not. Now it turns out that the manufacture of an EV battery pack is equivalent to running a conventional car for 8 years, and it starts to deteriorate from first use. Windmill blades cannot be recycled and go straight to landfill; although the banning of plastic bags and straws should leave some space…..outstanding. As far as green taxation goes, it is very simple; tax the public heavily until they stop using coal/gas/petrol/diesel and then tax them heavily because they have stopped using coal/gas/petrol/diesel.

  38. Lifelogic
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    One green agenda I am in favour of is cleaner air (and less congestion which also helps with this) in cities. With current technology plug in hybrids, that can do about 30 miles on a small and thus cheap battery, is surely the best option for this for most people. So why ban these?

  39. a-tracy
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    ‘how much are people prepared to pay to go green.’ I think you’d find those with the biggest mouths pay in the least.

    Some of biggest complainers about NHS funding I know work part-time and don’t contribute 1p, or one’s wife doesn’t work and so the NI doesn’t get a double dip for family cover off them, they get more out and pay less in.

    Some people want to raise NI free allowances up to tax free allowances I don’t agree, it is the most valued public service we have. I actually wonder if we wouldn’t be better with a ring-fenced national insurance!

  40. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Your penultimate paragraph reads like a silly satire. None of these grandiose ideas and targets can have been thought through. This seems typical of government incompetence – like so-called ‘smart’ motorways which have increased the dangers of motorway driving. Where and how is all the necessary electricity to be generated consistently and reliably? The cost and disruption of all these schemes, throughout the country and even in people’s own homes, will be enormous. What will be the effect on consumer spending when more and more money is taken either directly from people or through taxation? We have seen the colossal waste and expense of smart meters – which provide no real benefit to consumers, are unreliable and often need replacing when you change energy provider. How will the government fill the tax hole when they stop people buying petrol and diesel ? I could go on.
    Suffice to say that, apart from Brexit, this government is sending out many unacceptable messages. It looks as though the idea of Conservatives being the party of small government has gone.

  41. Everhopeful
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Industry is constantly looking for a win win solution ( ie the shareholders don’t lose out)to compliance with green legislation and it is probably true to say that out-complying a rival firm helps. Pollution clearing services that stick to the strictest guidelines get the most customers!
    Probably most companies/industries have done all the cheapest and easiest compliances already and are desperately searching for more “low hanging” fruit. Higher fruits will prove more expensive and the cost will have to be met…by guess who?
    The already mentioned reactions of France and Chile…and there are rumblings in the UK re petrol cars…will only increase as the race for green compliance hots up. Thereby can we measure the enthusiasm of the customer who ultimately will be legislated into unnecessary purchases.
    ie. Pretty unenthusiastic if not hopping mad!

  42. Iain Moore
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    None, not a penny more in any form. The Government fritters enough of our money away already without thinking up more ways to load costs and taxes on us. If they want to stop the weather they can do it from the funds they have already taken from us. that grotesque indulgence Aid is apparently paying Africa for climate change, may be the Government should redirect that money to here.

    May be a revolutionary approach needs to be taken , if our establishment are such believers in this stopping the weather cause, may be, instead of squashing the little people under the weight of diktats, costs and taxes our dear leaders would like to show us the way to this Carbon zero sunny uplands. Lets have the establishment, well at least the Cabinet Ministers, living an audited Carbon zero existence. No more flights, no more Ministerial cars, no more heating, may be they could release a book about the wonderful ways of cooking lentils.

    Of course none of this will happen, the whole climate change circus is about rank hypocrisy , a case of do as we say not as we do. This COP26 is a get together of 30,000 delegates who certainly won’t be arriving by horse and cart or wooden sail boat. Yesterday Lord Deben was saying how he is flying around the world drumming up business for this shindig. First stop OZ, no Skype for him, and he is a member of the Committee for Climate Change, while at the same time on the boards of charities and pressure groups pushing the green cause, which would suggest a conflict of interests. Its like having the Pope as an independent overseer of Catholicism.

  43. BJC
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I’m still trying to get my head around how all these electric cars are going to benefit from “cheap” overnight charging. Not everyone is blessed with their own driveway and more flats/conversions are being built to maximise returns on small plots of land, most of which are occupied by car owners, whilst very few on-site parking spaces are provided. Their cars already spill out on to the streets, but electric cars would all need a “cheap” overnight charging point and the facility to park adjacent to it. On street parking spaces are at a premium, so having driven around for 30 minutes and half a mile from home, no-one is going to give up a precious space. Indeed, the search for a space will itself drain the battery and lead to many abandoned cars blocking the roads. Has anyone actually applied the governmental braincell and thought this thing through, or have they all been seduced by the siren calls of salivating Green agenda lobbyists?

    • Stred
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      The Climate Change Committee mentions a number of cars which is about a third of the present number. They also mention behavioural management. We will be nudged out of having a car. My offspring have already been brainwashed into not learning to drive although they seem to be keen to accept lifts when the train and bus takes three times as long.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink


        Nail, head, hit !

        Yes, that is the plan. Before, when cars could only be afforded by the wealthy, motoring had few rules and restrictions other than a man with a red flag. And soon that too was dropped. Now everyone can just about get a car and those expensive luxury brands have to slum it in the traffic jams along with us – can’t have that ! Solution ? Very expensive electric cars that only the rich can afford to get around in. The rest ? Get on to ‘Cattle Class !’

  44. Chaswarnertoo
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I repeat my previous post that Mr Redwood’s lack of technical knowledge is showing. Ask Piers Corbyn, he has a first in astrophysics from IC and will explain reality.

  45. a-tracy
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I support green policies that in the longer term save money and the environment.

    You don’t need plastic banding around tins, we never used to have plastic bottles of water I took a Tupperware beaker with a lid to school each day some of our green aware children are part of the problem! We had glass bottles for milk that used to be recycled these changes came about when we started importing lots of milk.

    Our local public sector building leave lots of car park lights on all night long seven days a week empty, if this was my private business they’d be turned off and if I needed occasional movement responsive lights that’s what I’d have. Same with multi-story car parks. A lot of the big spending is out of our control and Government needs to make the changes first and bring the prices down through quantity orders to help the rest of us, but for goodness sakes source your suppliers efficiently instead of the typical £1000 for a plant trough ticked through to a friend’s company.

  46. Andy
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Green policies are expensive – this is why we need government help.

    It will cost me £10k or more to install solar panels and batteries on my new house – but my electric bill will then more than halve. How about either interest free government loans or – at worst – interest rate government loans?

    Government discounts off electric cars – perhaps achieved by cutting tax bills of manufacturers?

    Grants for home insulation. Additional taxes on meat to discourage people from eating it. That sort of thing.

    So, yes tackling man-made climate change is expensive. (So is Brexit but you seem to think that is worth it).

    But the key point is that NOT tackling man-made climate change is even more expensive.

    Swathes of our coastal communities will be flooded and will become uninhabitable. People will have to be moved. London will need to better protected as it will be below sea level – meaning it is prone to flooding. In an extreme scenario it might have to be abandoned.

    100m or more climate change refugees world wide. Millions will come here. Extreme drought in place. Intense storms. Fires. It is not a pretty future.

    And most of you don’t care because you won’t live to see the impact on your children and grandchildren.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      “Government loans” is just other people’s taxes.

      • Andy
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        So is your pension.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          State pensions are funded by employer and employee national insurance contributions paid every week for decades by working men and women
          Private pensions are again paid by employers and employees.
          Or completely by self employed people.
          You tell us you employ people andy yet you don’t seem to understand the basics.

        • Fred H
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          no – its fom my >50 year savings account.

    • IanT
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Assuming you are correct about the impact of man-made carbon Andy, then the other assumption that I would make is that nothing we can do in this country will make any practical difference to global warming.

      So perhaps instead of trying to play King Kanute, our political leaders should instead invest in policies that will mitigate any potential problems of climate change in this country (which is what we elect them for)

      That might include stopping further housing development on flood plains, increasing our water storage capacity, improving coastal flood defences and maintaining & improving our existing water systems. (e.g. dredging & flow control).

      And I certainly do care about the future of my children & grandchildren but that requires having leaders who actually think through problems and produce practical solutions that actually work rather than just virtue signalling.



    • Oggy
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I’m all for saving energy by improving energy efficiency, insulation, hybrid cars etc etc, but bankrupting the country by 2050 to save just 0.7 % of the worlds CO2 is just a piss take.

      Go present your arguments/complaints to the Chinese, Indian and even the Germans who are building coal fired power stations at a pace.

      ps – millions have already come here.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        A piss take indeed.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Your extreme end of the world predictions are not even accepted by the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change.
      I presume you have read their reports Andy?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      It seems those children are quite prepared to be driven to school, rather than walk or cycle.
      And they can’t wait until they’re old enough to get a driving license, then a car, and take their share of carbon footprint, just like their parents and grandparents.
      Meanwhile we have environmentalists racking up air-miles to go to climate change conferences, all the while telling everyone else how to live their lives.

      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      There’s no such as government funding. When will people understand this simple truth. The taxpayer is the source of all State spending. Government is merely the conduit or since 1990 a political abuser of the taxpayer

      3 State scams –

      1. Printing money = cost inflation

      2. Sovereign debt = dragging taxpayer liquidity from the future to the present and imposing a liability onto future generations to finance the whims of politicians and vested interests in the present

      3. Taxation. A financial deduction from the productive to the unproductive for political spending

      Yes, the State performs an important function but today, the State isn’t on our side. it’s become a vested interest in its own right. It has become POLITICAL rather than civil and that places our freedoms and liberties at risk

      The State now views the people as a threat as we have seen with its attempt circumvent the democratic vote for Brexit

    • Richard1
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Sea level rise is variously estimated at between 1.5mm and 3mm pa. (It’s been about that on average since the end of the last ice age). London is approx 10m above sea level for the most part.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Any government loan is other people’s taxes as Bigneil says.

      And how do we pay those taxes ? By working harder – meaning more heat, more energy, emitting more carbon…

      Greenism is looking remarkably like communism to me.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        “We will take America without firing a shot.We do not have to invade the US, we will destroy you from within.”- Nikita Krushchev 1956.

        Remember that marvellous line of Churchill’s about Lenin in the sealed train from Zurich to Petrograd in 1917 :”they transported Lenin in a sealed truck like a plague bacillus.”I think something might have been sent back westwards!

    • DennisA
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      “Swathes of our coastal communities will be flooded and will become uninhabitable.”

      Only in UN computer models, the last outpouring of which, SR15, has now been admitted as using the worst of worst case modelling scenarios. There is considerable dissent amongst scientists on how sensitive the atmosphere is to CO2, they still do not understand the carbon cycle and yet we are told the science is settled. These major uncertainties inherent in climate models make them unfit for purpose, yet massively expensive and damaging policy decisions are made as a result of them.

      Reality shows that what they “predict”, (they used to “project”), is not happening. There is nothing unprecedented about the current state of climates around the world. History shows we are in a benign period compared to previous centuries. The wildfires in Australia, dreadful as they were, were not the worst on record and many were caused by arsonists. They were exacerbated by excessive fuel loads because of restrictive environmental regulations on preventive action.

      The damage from resource extraction in other countries to produce these highly ineffective alternative energy sources is ignored. Millions of birds, bats and insects around the world are destroyed by wind farms, solar farms take huge areas of land out of production and destroy habitat.

      The conversation about who pays for these “green” policies is not one we should be having. They are non viable without massive public money and have no impact on the direction of current or future weather patterns.

    • Backofanenvelope
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      The government has no mandate for these policies. Just as they had no mandate to be in the EU. And look what happened about that. Standby for a rising tide of anti-green voters.

    • Mark
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      If your electricity bill is typical, it will be no more than £600. So saving half of it suggests a 30+ year payback on you investment. But you will need to factor in the costs of keeping your solar panels clean, and replacing the inverter every few years, and probably the entire system before the 30 years is up. In other words, it will never pay for itself.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        I take it you use a lot of candles in the one room, and use batteries for the evening radio.?

  47. villaking
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I agree with you that the link between green policies and funding for green policies seems not to exist in many people’s minds. Aspirations, political promises and random dates are being publicised in an irresponsible way. For instance, promising an end to petrol and diesel car sales in 15 years time when none of the present government ministers will be in office* is just grandstanding and does not address the issues you have rightly raised.
    *(I predict Labour will continue to commit suicide and the Conservatives will retain power, but even Mrs Thatcher couldn’t last 15 years, these ministers who made the promise will be long gone)

  48. James Freeman
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Whether paid by consumers via a fuel levy or general expenditure, it is still tax.

    First you need to tell us how much it is all going to cost. Of course with current technology you will need to introduce eye watering subsidies and price rises to achieve zero carbon by 2050. Not to mention more taxes to replace fuel duty.

    Instead you need to help develop green technology so it costs no more than fossil fuel. Only at this stage should you introduce bans. Anything else does not fly with the public.

    The route you should take is first develop green alternatives though R&D. Once proved, pump prime the market with subsidies until price parity is reached. Investments now in these areas will remove the need for tax rises when we get to 2050.

    There is a vast range of potential technologies out there to achieve this – you just need to start investing in it.

    • Stred
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      JF. Such as?

      • James Freeman
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        Storing electricity when it is not windy: Cryogenic energy storage, hydro stations converted to pump storage.
        Green fuel from waste: Anaerobic digestion, Pyrolysis
        Safer electricity generation from mass produced mini nuclear reactors or Thoron reactors
        Hydrogen from electrolysis
        Built in carbon capture using Allam cycle power plants

        • Stred
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          Cryogenic already tried. Large energy losses and only for peaking.
          Hydro stations. Not enough capacity in UK. We are not Norway. Read SEWTHA.
          biofuels from waste etc. Already being done but only small percentage possible. Read SEWTHA.
          Small Modular Reactors already to go but Rolls Royce say only on existing Nuke sites as public will not allow anywhere else. You would have to put a large number on to equal a double big reactor like present designs. Thorium designs not ready when needed or tried out at scale.
          Electrolysis far more costly than reforming because of large energy losses. Its an old process and development is not possible because of physics. Read SEWTHA.
          Allam cycle being tried at small scale but still uses large amounts of non renewable gas.
          Why did David MacKay bother to write Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air when so many people don’t read it and spout it?

    • Martin R
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      Please name even one of that vast range that is remotely practical and economic. I know only of one in fact, one you may not even be aware of anyway.

  49. Pat
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    My view is that electoral support for green policies will last only until the costs become apparent to the electorate. At present they are substantially hidden.
    I suspect most people are prepared to accept global warming theory for as long as they think that they aren’t paying for it, or at least not paying much.
    Once the costs become obvious the number of people seriously questioning the theory will rise, and they will get a lot more attention.
    It would not be wise for a politician to nail his colours to the green mast, because once the cost becomes obvious to the man in the street greenery will become political suicide.

  50. NigelE
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    As a taxpayer, it’ll make no difference to me whether you extract the subsidies through higher electricity tariffs or higher taxes.

    At the moment the subsidies are more or less hidden. As green generation costs increase dramatically as the 2035 targets loom, I predict that the degree of unpopularity for the government of the day is be very high, with an equally predictable backlash. The Green Agenda will become the next Brexit-type issue where the establishment and the populace will be out of sink.

    Better just hope that Boris only has two terms in office.

    • NigelE
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      sync! Not sink! Though that’s what will happen to the govt in 2035.

  51. Ian Wilson
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Excellent posts from Graham Wood & Sharon Jagger among others

    I have just listened to Prof Gautam Kalghatgi’s lecture at the Global Warming Policy Foundation (watch on GWPF Forum). He states a battery needed to power an Airbus 319 would be 19 times the airliner’s take-off weight! Zero carbon by 2050? Some hope, except by the fraud of carbon offsets.
    He also makes the point there is potential for much further efficiency gains in vehicle piston engines, such as compression ignition petrol engines, and these would be a better bet than electric cars. The problem now is, why would manufacturers make such investment if the cars will be banned in 15 years?

  52. BOF
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    ‘ Given the increasing reliance on electrical power it will also require a substantial increase in generating capacity.’

    There it is in a nutshell. It cannot be done with renewables. Once there are 10m or 20m cars on the road, which is unlikely to ever happen, so called renewables will never come anywhere near generating enough electricity to power them all plus industry plus business, plus domestic.

    The cost will be astronomic and the reliability appalling as they found out in South Australia.

    We have the highest rate of taxation for over forty years and it would have to go higher. Our new Chancellor must be just another socialist in the mould of Clarke, Brown, Osborne and Hammond. Tax, borrow and spend.

    All borrowed money to be repaid by the next generation, or more. Will they then regret their wokeness and green credentials?

  53. The Prangwizard
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The only way I can reduce the amount of oil I use to heat my home is to get a new boiler. I don’t know how old the existing one is but it works well nor do i know its efficiency rating. A new boiler will cost me thousands. Why should I bother? The payback time I suspect will run into decades.

  54. NickC
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Jr, It’s not merely the price of green policies but the practicality. And especially the practicality in the timescales demanded. Are we all to be Boris’s Stakhanovites now?

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      I’m just waiting for Boris’s Subbotnik poster-his version of Lenin carrying a railway sleeper promoting the Subbotnik-giving up your Saturday to do a day’s “voluntary” work to hasten the building of the worker’s paradise.

      Didn’t Dave propose compulsory voluntary work for teenagers a while back(I’m not sure if anything came of it).These Bullingdon chaps really know how to treat the proles!

      • Fred H
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        ‘compulsory voluntary ‘ ……wonderful!

  55. Javelin
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    “Climate Change” is basically saying “Time Passes”. Man made climate change is not real but based on adjusting the raw data and computer models. We were told 10 years ago we had 10 years to save the world. China and India have increased their pollution … yet we are still here and nothing has changed.

    The only emergency is that socialism is no longer believed and they can’t win an election.

    Do you want to buy a London bridge? Cheques in the post. etc etc.

  56. Caterpillar
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Policy needs to be robust against & flexible within possible future complex scenarios (including climate, other countries’ broad behaviours etc.).
    Policy also needs to ensure that society is robust against it.

    Currently most UK govt policy seems to be based on belief in complicated forecasts not on complex scenarios. There are clearly rigidity producing (hence poor in times of uncertainty) policies and flexibility producing (hence good in times of uncertainty) policies, the govt seems to have more of the latter.
    E.g. Methane good it can be just burned or is easiest route to hydrogen (steam reformation). Hence fracking?
    Policies also have systemic effects e.g. Locking up violent criminals and weapon carriers helps to keep urban streets safe, this makes quality high density living (rental skyscrapers) more viable which makes entrepreneurship easier, service provision easier and often less needed etc…however if not safe then middleclass/families that can look to move suburban adding all kinds of cost.

    It is relatively easy to write a list of current and alternative policies in terms of rigidity/flexibility and systemic effects. It should be done. It should be done circulated/broadscast and the hear the country’s response. Tnis woukd hopefully limit piecemeal discussion.

  57. Anonymous
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    No doubt about it. Thunbergism will kill millions. Maybe this is a fair trade off to save the planet but this is never mentioned by those who propose it.

  58. DennisA
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    There are also those who think none of it is necessary…

  59. Martin R
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Greenism is a multi-faceted political attack on Western Civilisation. That has been admitted quite openly at the UN by one of their officials, a Spanish lady. It is about wealth redistribution to the third world, about disadvantaging civilised Western countries. It is as well a political enterprise that is part of the UN’s drive to become a world government. It is about the expansion of the size and scope of the state wherever it is enforced. Its implementation is guaranteed to be economically devastating to our country and its few remaining industries, and to result in an ever increasing deaths from hypothermia every for the poor already unable to afford heating in the winter. No conservative with a small “c” would touch it with a barge pole.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      While Russia and China continue to exist the UN has absolutely no chance of becoming a world government.

      • Martin R
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        So you mean we must be thankful for that significant minority of the world’s population that is already at the mercy of totalitarian thugs?

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        oh I don’t know — lots of governments are toothless and hopeless – the UN are well qualified.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Martin R

      Your comment sums up what I have picked up from a variety of sources.

      Succinctly put!

      • Martin R
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 1:05 am | Permalink

        Thank you Sharon. This is a true horror story on steroids. And with the Tories set on their present suicidal course there is little prospect of waking up from it. The key to Western living standards is affordable energy. Most of the world recognises that, which is why more than 1,600 coal fired power stations are currently building or projected worldwide.

  60. Iain Gill
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I think we could reasonably aim to be in the least polluting quartile per process internationally. Aiming to be in the least polluting 5 percent per process is madness, and where we have done this for manufacturing that production has shut here and reappeared in China and India, mostly in the bottom 5 percent of anti pollution kit for that process. So pushing up net world pollution.

    We need to get a grip on how we expect to earn our crust in the world, it’s got to be leading intellectual property which means we need to protect it a lot more. We cannot just sell financial services to the rest of the world. And Dom’s idea of making us the world’s university has a number of rather obvious challenges, not least the mass immigration it will cause like his science visas which has no public support.

  61. David Tomlinson
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Gilets not jilets please

  62. DavidJ
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    To put it bluntly the “green” policies are nonsense unless government wants to use them to impose control of the population at large in favour of their chums.

    • what tiler
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      In a nutshell. 20 years of scare stories in an attempt to make us demand to be impoverished. Disgusting.

  63. BillM
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Why are the western Politicians bar POTUS and the Oz Government so wrapped up in reducing the level of CO2? Especially when it is the taxpayers who have to foot the exorbitant bill CO2 is the fourth-largest gas in our atmosphere but it is insignificant.
    According to NASA, the gases in Earth’s atmosphere include:
    Nitrogen — 78 percent.
    Oxygen — 21 percent.
    Argon — 0.93 percent.
    Carbon dioxide — 0.04 percent.
    Trace amounts of neon, helium, methane, krypton and hydrogen, as well as water vapor.

    • hefner
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Water vapour is about 1% of the atmosphere globally speaking, with its concentration varying between roughly 0.2% in polar latitudes and up to 4% in equatorial regions. So I would not call it such a trace gas given it is responsible via evaporation, condensation and precipitation to a good deal of the weather we get.
      As you might have realised by now, N2 at 78% of the atmosphere does not have any direct impact on it, and O2 although essential for life does not have much impact on the atmosphere as such. Ar, Ne, He, Kr are either so-called inert or rare gases involved in very few chemical reactions.
      So how comes such a large number of people get excited with CO2, CH4, N2O, NO2, CFCs, HFCs. Is it that you know more than they do, or the other way around?

      • BillM
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        I utilise a multitude of real scientific data available on the Internet to learn the truth.
        Even without that knowledge, I would question how can an insignificant amount of 0.04% of our atmosphere have, apparently according to the IPCC, such a devastating effect on our planet.
        Especially when, without CO2 in our atmosphere and on the surface, ALL plant life and therefore animal life, would die.

  64. Graham Wheatley
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink


    We as a nation ( and the west in general) are going to bankrupt ourselves in ‘fixing’ a non problem.

    CO2 is plant food.
    With an ever increasing world population we are going to need more food crops.
    We risk reducing CO2 to starvation levels for plants.

    In addition, reducing atmospheric CO2 level will have the further effects of :-
    1) …evolving CO2 dissolved in seawater (a 50:1 equilibrium absorption coefficient), and reducing that available for faunal shell & coral production.
    2) ..if reduced too much, then we risk triggering a mini ice-age, with the further implication for food crop production.

    In our drive to be seen to be ever ‘greener’, we could ultimately be damaging our ecosystem, rather than improving it.

  65. Martin R
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone in this faux conservative government even capable of adding two and two to make four, i.e. doing simple primary school arithmetic?

    Typically householders use three, four or as much as five times as much energy from gas every year as they do from electricity. If you don’t believe that I suggest checking your energy bills. On the one hand that means a staggering increase in electricity generating capacity when the government is still continuing to blow up our coal fired power stations and our nuclear power stations are nearing the end of their lifespan. OTOH because electricity costs four times as much per kWhr than gas it means a trebling or quadrupling of household annual energy bills. And that is when millions of the low paid in this land can hardly afford them already. Again that is very easy to check by looking at one’s energy bills and applying primary school arithmetic. Madness on steroids.

    • Jon Davies
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Except that heat pumps have a seasonal coefficient of performance of around 3.5. So for every kWh of electricity used you can generate 3.5kWh of heating energy. So the price comparison is not 4:1. Still more expensive on current pricing but nowhere near the figures you imagine. Electricity costs also have carbon taxes included whereas gas fuel does not. If they were fairly taxed at the same rate per tonne of CO2 emitted then this closes the gap further. For new homes where installation costs are lower and insulation and ventilation are better this makes heating with electric a very realistic option. For draughty old houses then other options are required. Green hydrogen is likely to be the best option here as it could use the existing natural gas infrastructure with little adaption.

      • Martin R
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        The typical heat pump installation is an 8 kW system. That is considerably less than the space heating requirement for the average home. As most older properties have already been insulated as well as makes any kind of sense this won’t generally even be adequate for space heating. However such an installation won’t even provide hot water in colder weather so that will have to be heated by an electric immersion heater as well. Heating coefficient 3 not 3.5 by the way. Now for the amount of garden needed. An 8 kW ground source heat pump (the most efficient type) is generally reckoned to require more than 7,000 square feet for three ground loops, although that will vary according to the geology of the site. It’s the average. In practice that means in most cases hardly any properties will have a big enough back garden unless the overall plot size is at a least a quarter acre to begin with. How many ordinary people in this country have a garden even approaching that size? Another room will also have to be set aside to house the installation. How many ordinary houses have the potential for that? The average Briton lives in a house that is pokey at best. And the cost: £10,000 if you’re very lucky. Heat pumps are simply out of the question for all but a tiny minority of properties in the land and extremely expensive at that. To suggest that they could be the answer to a virtue signaller’s prayer is not merely silly but an insult to one’s intelligence.

        • Jon Davies
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 1:09 am | Permalink

          Air source heat pumps can be used to deliver the needs of a well insulated NEW home with decent air tightness levels. I think you know that already. Addressing existing homes requires a range of other solutions, including the Green hydrogen option which I mentioned. Ground source heat pumps have their place in larger properties but are not likely to be a key part of any solution for the average home.

          • Martin R
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            As you know air source heat pumps have disadvantages compared even to ground source. In general heat pumps can be incorporated into new build houses at considerable expense if used with much more insulation than is usual and smaller windows. But the existing housing stock (almost 28 million households in the UK) is simply not remotely suitable for heat pump installation in the vast majority of cases. However we still come back to the simple fact that this is a solution (like HS2) to a problem that simply does not exist in the first place. Namely CO2. That extremely rare trace gas is an enormous benefit, not a problem, and has never had any demonstrable effect on climate. The only correlation with climate depends on cherry picking some periods in the 20th century and ignoring others, ignoring climate over the entire Holocene, and ignoring climate proxies for the entire geologic time span.

  66. Lester Beedell
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    So much common sense written, perhaps some of the contributors here should be appointed as advisors on energy then we might stand a chance of succeeding!

    • Martin R
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, anyone qualified to advise on the global warming scam need not apply. We know that from the way our politicians have steadfastly taken their advice from the warmist lobby for decades now and determinedly turned aside the entreaties of anyone talking anything remotely resembling good sense, the Global Warming Policy Foundation for example. They are absolutely intent on reducing the first industrialised nation to first de-industrialised one, in the full knowledge the end result will be as near returning to the Stone Age as makes no difference. Or perhaps they are so abysmally stupid they haven’t realised that yet.

  67. Mark
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    The costs of the existing policies are greatly underestimated, especially when you add in the consequences for jobs and the balance of trade of adopting an expensive energy policy. The full range of choice should be between allowing markets to function properly and reducing our energy costs, thereby also boosting our economy, as has happened in the US, putting money back into our pockets, and a green project that looks as though it will cost of the order of at least £5trillion to implement, and will leave the economy so shattered that we won’t be able to afford much in the way of imports.

    Arguing about who should pay for the wanton destruction is simple. It should be the politicians and bureaucrats who seek to impose it, and they should pay by losing their jobs.

  68. Lester Beedell
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    A friend was telling me about a friend of his who has a Nissan Leaf and thought that he would drive to London from Bournemouth on a business trip, about 20 miles before reaching his destination the low battery light illuminated so he pulled into a service station, there was a 2 hour wait for a charging point to become available, followed by a further delay whilst the battery charged, how can anyone suggest that this is practical means of transport?

    • Oldwulf
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Lester – maybe we need a battery exchange service, although the logistics could be a nightmare.

      • hefner
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        According to Nio launched an electric car battery-swap network … in China. Will we get some UK start-up to think along the same lines?

        • Fred H
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          and what happens to the ‘spent’ battery?

          • hefner
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            In Europe, Nissan for its Leaf model is offering an insurance for such a battery covering it for 5 years or 60,000 km. I would think the batteries in the Chinese battery-swap network would have a similar lifetime.
            The idea of this Chinese network was to cut the time to ‘recharge’ the battery to about 10 minutes, the time to exchange the near-empty battery by a full-loaded one. Because contrary to what you seem to imply these batteries are rechargeable, the problem being that presently it takes 3+hours to recharge them.
            At the end of their lifetime, I would think the batteries would be handled like present batteries, a bit of recycling and quite a bit going to waste …

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        And batteries would have to be a standard shape, a logistical nightmare
        Much easier to stick with fossil fuel

    • Andy
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      It is a perfectly practical means of transport. Plenty of electric cars can now travel as far as many petrol cars. The issue – as you point out – is one of charging infrastructure which is still sadly lacking. And this is what needs government help to resolve.

      My next car will be electric. I can charge at home. I can charge at work. I know I will need to plan a bit should I need to do slightly longer or more unusual journeys. But the reality of the climate emergency your generation has inflicted on us is that we are going to face some difficult choices. For example we might have ration meat. Bonfires will need to be banned. Limits on flights. Planning a journey properly is not exactly rocket science.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        No they can’t.
        Even the 100k Tesla can only do 250 milesAnd that depends on outside temperature and how fast you go.
        And after a few years like mobile phones the battery capacity fades.
        And stop telling us cars are the CO2 reduction answer.
        The facts don’t agree.

      • Ginty
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:40 am | Permalink

        Unless you live in a three bed semi (and that’s all you have.) And run a ten year old (one litre) petrol car you consume a LOT more than me.

        A LOT more.

        What fun kids are going to have unplugging cars at night. The cars of the majority – who can’t afford a drive.

      • Martin R
        Posted February 10, 2020 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        What will you do when all the subsidies cease and the £28 Bn tax on petrol and diesel falls on EV’s? It must do eventually because politicians will certainly not want to curb their spending habits to cope with a loss of revenue. You will be lumbered with a vehicle with quite a marked disadvantage in the range department, in fact the range, which was marginal to begin with compared with a proper car, will be declining gradually every year until it eventually the car becomes literally unsaleable. But still, if you don’t mind queuing for hours to use a charging point, what’s not to like?

  69. Jon Davies
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the starting point is whether renewables do actually add to the overall electricity bill. I know if I was a gas or oil producing company with what used to be a monopoly product I would argue that but is it really the case? There is no doubt that the FIT etc payments are subsidised by taxes but what impact does this extra availability of electricity have on wholesale pricing? Where is the evidence that bills would be cheaper overall without these costs?

    You could equally argue that renewables, particularly solar and wind have effectively created competition for the gas producing companies. They now cant push the electricity price too high or investments in renewables become more attractive and consequently demand for their products falls forever. EXAMPLE: Domestic solar has around a 20 year pay back without subsidy. Were electricity prices to rise then this payback falls and the investment becomes more attractive and demand for gas for electricity generation falls. Basic market economics. A company investing in solar panels today (government subsidy free) to power its operations knows what its electricity price is going to be for 20 years plus…..the cost will be no higher in 2040 for them and the replacement panels in 2040 are likely to be lower in cost.

    Governments role should be “pump priming” to encourage technologies to get to a competitive state with other energy alternatives and then any subsidies should be gradually removed once the industry is established. There is a skill in defining that. The solar FIT payments were too generous for too long and should have been tapered more quickly – sadly we ended up with a boom and then a bust as the FIT payments (which were too high) were then cut too far and too fast.

    By the way it would be helpful if the UK was not charging 20% VAT on stand alone domestic storage battery installations. That would make the technology more affordable and develop the market. That way excess solar/wind generated electricity can be stored for use at night or when the wind isnt blowing.

  70. Dave
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    The increase in the numbers using food banks and the eye-watering hike in energy prices have common roots- Labour’s Climate Change Act.
    I’m still waiting for someone to explain exactly how paying more taxes will reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, or how the BBC can be allowed to get away with deliberate falsehoods eg- ‘rising temperatures’ in the Antarctic, ‘hottest temperatures ever’, and ‘declining polar bear populations’.
    The current solar activity can be measured. Scientists are predicting another Maunder Minimum (mini ice age) over the next 30-35 years.
    Can anyone explain how paying more taxes will somehow change this?

    • Richard
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      NASA now agrees with most solar scientists that the next solar cycle (SC25) will be the weakest of the last 200 years (allowing more cosmic rays to enter the solar system).

      Solar activity & measured temperatures are well correlated for the last 400 years. Plus some research supporting The Svensmark Effect (a hypothesis that galactic cosmic rays induce low cloud formation and thereby influence the Earth’s climate).

      • hefner
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Hi, I have just finished reading the Svensmark’s paper, about the CERN CLOUD experiment, the Ueno et al. paper, and various related bits and pieces, even a couple of GWPF ‘scoops’.
        I must admit that the best exposition of the bells and whistles of this theory is carried out on the website “What’s the link between cosmic rays and climate science”, both the main text and the comments that follow: there is indeed some Svensmark effect but much smaller (at most 15% of the signal originally claimed).

      • Martin R
        Posted February 10, 2020 at 12:04 am | Permalink

        Svensmark’s hypothesis is the only one which can account for climatic variability over all geologic timescales, or even attempts to. In fact for any hypothesis to be taken seriously it surely must work completely independently of the timescale chosen. The CO2 nonsense accounts for variability of the weather during a few cherry picked periods during the 20th century and fails abysmally everywhere outside those carefully chosen times, something believers seem unaware of. Svensmark observed in the early nineties that over time climatic variations matched solar activity more closely than any other candidate phenomenon, as others had done before him. Yet his pioneering work, which completely refutes the demonic plant food trace gas (CO2 is such) theory is virtually unknown. I wonder why.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      I’m still waiting for someone to explain exactly how paying more taxes will reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere . . .

      You won’t. But it will make an awful lot of very rich people and landowners richer. 😉

    • Dennis
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      ‘…..deliberate falsehoods eg- ‘rising temperatures’ in the Antarctic,’ Wasn’t just yesterday or before that it was reported that there was the highest recorded temp. in Antarctica of 18.2deg C?

  71. mongoose
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, this is my first comment here, and my last.

    I have been a professional engineer for 37 years and counting. The relentless scientific illiteracy of energy policy and the increasingly hysterical demands for the delivery of engineering solutions which do not exist – and in some cases, CANNOT exist – is a wickedness that hurts poor people. This is vacuous middle class idiocy and green luvviedom, and it needs to stop.

    • James1
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      It’s not going to happen. So why don’t we just close down all the airports and confiscate all cars? I wouldn’t give much for the chances of any political getting elected with that manifesto.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mongoose,
      Please keep posting.
      They need telling!!!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Exactly right. I read Maths/Physics at Cambridge and then some Electronic Engineering. I have worked as an engineer for many years. It is like listening to a bunch of actors, politicians, lawyers, a few vicars, some PPE & a couple of law graduates telling you how you should design an aircraft.

      What sort of fool would ever choose to fly on one designed in this way? They simply do not have a clue.

    • Richard
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. At current 415ppm we already experience over 87% of CO2’s full potential warming effect on the atmosphere.

      • hefner
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        I have just read again your 16/10/2019 08:30 contribution including the statement “water vapour has akwardly not increased despite the higher levels of CO2 in the air”. Why should it do that, first if there is a link it is not between CO2 and water vapour, but between water vapour and temperature, and second such a T/H2O link is not likely to be directly visible, as such an overall increase in water vapour would quickly be transferred into a slight more efficient hydrological cycle involving gaseous water vapour, evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. For example, a better question might be: do we see stronger precipitation?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      This is what you get when you put people in charge who only have a degree in some obscure subject eg PPE.

  72. Lesley
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    It would seem that the evolution of our planet being totally out of mans control is being totally ignored. However, there is lots we can do to make our planet cleaner and healthier to live in and this is what we should be concentrating on. Climate change is a given, not a man made phenomenon. Remember Desideratum, “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

  73. Polly
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I have my theories about where all the greenery is coming from, and why…..

    ….but what are your theories ?

    Is it all Prime Minister Johnson’s own work, or is there more to it in your opinion ?


  74. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink


    • Fred H
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      All the signs are that millions might be joining you. When are the voters preferences going to be followed? Cameron a big let-down, May a complete about face from the principles we were lead to believe, now Boris! No signs of the issues to be reversed or tackled, but every sign he will go against why he was elected.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink


  75. James
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Back in the 1950’s I used to visit my uncle in Co Tipperary at a time when the family had a farm but no electricity, horses were used to plough and night time lighting was with tillilamp, cows had to be hand milked, ah! how I miss those times and would love to go back- but alas

    • Martin R
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Windmill blades are optimised for lower, average wind speeds, I believe. As the wind gets stronger they are feathered to prevent damage. So in stormy weather output can actually decrease.

  76. James
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    As storm Ciara approaches- now if only we could harness the energy?- wow!

  77. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m becoming more than a little annoyed by the continuing focus on UK policy when the major offending nations – those that burn raw coal, are not chastised nor are subject to sanctions. CO2 gas does not respect national borders and goes where convection currents take it. In saying that nations should stop burning raw coal, we can identify the major offenders, who include America, China, India, Germany and Poland.

    It is high time that the UK had a Green trade policy, as befits an independent nation. We should propose to the WTO that tariffs may be levied on exports from dirty economies. For the time being, a ‘dirty economy’ would be defined as one which burns raw coal. In the event of such proposals being vetoed, we should consult with like minded nations on the feasibility of setting up a rival to WTO.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      PS CO2 emissions from gas fired power stations are approximately half of those from coal fired power stations, so it would be acceptable in the short term to replace coal generated power with gas generated power.

  78. ThWatcher in the Wry
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m not into GDP , GNI, and multi-national cash flows affecting calculations of Ireland’s official statistics and GDP’s probable impact on its contributions to the EU wheelie bin fund.
    If you have time JR, it would be interesting to hear what you think of other EU nations and how they calculate GDP and how their contributions may increase.

  79. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    The central question is whether there should compulsion by government or whether people should be free to choose in a market that is not rigged by the Government, especially a Government that is driven by ideology unsupported by either science or rational economic argument.
    The science is far from settled. There is no case for compulsion. There may be a case for precautionary measures until the science is more advanced. There is a case for investment in research and development. For example a small reduction of around 3% in emissions from all internal combustion engines would achieve a far greater reduction in overall carbon than electric cars, which are not as green as their advocates would have you believe.
    If people are persuaded of CAGW they will either pay to go green or go without. The case for compulsion is very weak. Let those who want ‘green’ electricity pay for it. Then we will see just how strong that belief is.
    The argument that we are all in this together is nothing more than socialism dressed up in green language. They just want others to pay for what they want and they are unable to persuade people of the case for universal green energy so they resort to compulsion.

    • Martin R
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Sixteen hundred plus current coal fired power station projects worldwide would seem to indicate that not only is the rest of the world not following Boris’ “lead”, but they either haven’t noticed or they think he and the rest of the Tory Party have taken leave of their senses. If so I reckon they’re probably right.

  80. ChrisS
    Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Our taxpayers will be watching what happens around the world with increased interest.

    Showing a lead is one thing but there is no point whatsoever in us incurring these vast costs unless every other country does exactly the same. All we would be doing is make Great Britain PLC uncompetitive in world markets with disastrous results for our economy and wealth.

    If the world does not follow our lead, any support given by our taxpayers for the Government’s lead will evaporate in the breeze.

  81. JimW
    Posted February 9, 2020 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Buried deep in the assumptions used in the IPCC climate models is one about the rate at which the earth; land and sea, ‘eats’ the excess CO2 in the atmosphere. The actual experience , measured over the last 50 years, is that it remains constant at about 2.5% per year. The models use a rapidly decreasing percentage based on a purely hypothetical view that the ‘carbon’ sinks will be used up and less and less CO2 can be absorbed. There is absolutely no justification for this hypothesis ( indeed one of many contained in the modelling ,all designed to produce higher temps). If it assumed that the 2.5% absoption rate continues, there is no rapid increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, and no repaid increases in average temps over and above the sedate 0.8C/century measured by satellites over the last 40 years.
    My qustion to you Mr Redwood. When will politicians start fearing the backlash from the populace when they realise they have been scammed out of their existing lifestyles in order for power and wealth to be consolidated in the hands of the few?

    • hefner
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      So according to you there are 50 years of measurements over all types of vegetation, land, and all types of water, polar, mid-latitude, tropical and equatorial, with and without phytoplankton, independent of salinity and surface temperature, all showing a CO2 uptake at 2.5% per year. Could you please provide a reference for such a study, I think a lot of people specially in the oceanographic community would be interested. Thanks in advance.

    • hefner
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      The interesting bit in this story is that Anthony Watts on 18/11/2009 was wondering « CO2 and ocean uptake – maybe slowing ». Whereas S.E.Mihaloff Fletcher in 2017, Nature, 542, 169 was telling us that « Ocean circulation drove increase in CO2 uptake ».
      How fortunate to have some contributors on this blog to tell us the carbon uptake has been steady at 2.5% for 50 years.
      I am just wondering: who should I trust? Tough, tough, tough.?

      • JimW
        Posted February 10, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        The global carbon budget model is contained in all the IPCC models. The actual readings of CO2 are from Mauna Loa and the model is harmonised to these readings. The readings have been taken for the last 50 years.
        Read Dr Roy Spencer on this at the link below.

        • hefner
          Posted February 13, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          Dr Spencer is certainly right, we are unlikely to reach 700 ppmv CO2 any time soon, but whatever the level is reached, 430? 460? 500? there will be consequences some possibly positive (better environment for some plant growth), some possibly negative (more occurrences of extreme events, droughts, floods, …).
          That seems to be a problem with the “sceptics-deniers” whatever you want to call them, they appear unable to think that both positive and negative consequences could happen together.

  82. Saxonsalt and chips
    Posted February 9, 2020 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    £40 million for Scottish Farmers to tackle Climate Change.
    Something called The Agricultural Transformation Programme. Inspired by the Scottish Government, which says it will go towards protecting and restoring natural habitats. So, they are going to waste it.

    The SNP, so I hear are going to the North East coast and “Demand in the name of Scotland and the Scottish people that the sea rolls back.” The £40m is for travelling, accommodation and hospitality expenses.

    The last time that was tried it was a Norwegian. Failed. King Neptune says the SNP “Will hear Scotland!”
    Pity the poor blighter

  83. Hugh
    Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The great thing about COP26 is that it will shine a light on the Goreballs.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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